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Newton Bateman, LL. D. Paul Selbv, A. M. 

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edited by 
Horace G. Kauffman Rebecca H. Kalffman 

\'' o 1 u m e II 



.M U X S E L I. P U B L I S H I N C, CO M P A N \- 



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The following chapters are concerned with the history of a single county of 
Illinois, and collaterally with such portions of the history of the State as bear a 
relation to the story of the county and are of interest in connection therewith. 
The time and labor involved and expended to gather and sift the material here 
presented, unlike the area covered, have not been small in extent. They have 
been much greater than was anticipated when the work was undertaken. But if 
those who read the pages which follow shall find the narrative interesting and 
informing, shall have their respect and affection for the memory of those who 
sowed that they might reap, quickened and, perhaps, broadened, and shall be im- 
pressed anew with the healthfulness, richness and beauty of the region in which 
it is their good fortune to dwell, then the writers will be repaid for the labor 
spent upon the preparation. , 

The sources of information have been various. They include histories and 
historical papers, treatises, addresses, official documents and reports, court records, 
newspaper files, scrap books, individual and organization records, correspondence 
and personal interviews. Among the histories and historical writings used are: 
Boss's "History of Ogle County" (1850) ; Rett's "History of Ogle County" 
(1878) ; "Portrait and Biographical Album of Ogle County" (1886) ; "The Bi- 
ographical Record of Ogle County" (1899) ; Ford's "Histors' of Illinois;" Stuve's 
"History of Illinois ;" Moses' "History of Illinois f'Parrish's "Historic Ilhnois" and 
"When Wilderness was King ;" Thwaites, "Historic Waterways ;" Volumes VIII, 
IX, and XI, State Historical Library ; Alvord's "Illinois Historical Collection," 
Volume II ; "Boundaries of Ilhnois and Early Rock Island." William A. Meese ; 
"Pioneer History of Illinois" and "Aly Own Life and Times," John Reynolds ; 
"Chapters in Illinois History," Edward G. Mason : "Western Wilds of America," 
John Regan ; "The Jesuit Relations" and "Allied Documents and Early Western 
Travels," Reuben Gold Thwaites ; "At Home and Abroad," Margaret Fuller ; "Mar- 
garet Fuller Ossoli," Thomas Wentworth Higginson-; Thwaites' "Boundaries of 
Wisconsin ;" the files of the "Galena Advertiser" and "Chicago Weekly Democrat," 
in the archives of the Chicago Historical Society ; "Alount Morris, Past and Pres- 
ent," Kable Brothers; Illinois Session Laws of 1853; "Evolution of the Counties 
of Illinois," James A. Rose, Secretary of State ; "Early Bench and Bar of Illinois," 
John Dean Caton : "Rock River Valley." Joseph Newton ; Manuscript Autobi- 
ography of John Phelps ; "Inimitable Rock River ;" "George Catlin Indian Gal- 
lery," .Smithsonian Report, 1885; "Water Resources of Illinois," Frank Leverett; 
Special Messages on Deep Waterway and Navigable Streams, Governor Charles 
S. Deneen, 1907; "Blue Book of Illinois;" Illinois Game and Fish Laws, 1907; 
Illinois Fish Commissioners' Report, 1904-1907; Hahn's "Mammals of the Kan- 
kakee Valley ;" United States and Illinois Geological Survey ; "Report on the White 
Pine Woods of Ogle County," Forest Ser\nce, R. S. Kellog, 1904 ; "Check List of 

Trees of the United States," Forest Service; "Patriotism of Illinois," T. M. Eddy, 
D. D., 1865 : "Birds of the United States and Canada," Xuttall; "History of the 
American People," Woodrow Wilson. 

The authors acknowledge their indebtedness to the following named organ- 
izations and individuals for material furnished, "either by means of articles or 
memoranda contributed, by letters, interviews, the loan of books, copperplates, 
photographs, or other matter, or the use of archives or private libraries : Illinois 
State Historical Society; Chicago Historical Society; Oregon Woman's Council; 
Major General Thomas W. Scott, Adjutant General of Illinois ; James A. Rose, 
Secretary of State : Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber, Librarian Illinois State Historical 
Society ; J. W. Clinton, Polo, Illinois ; William P. Landon, Rochelle, Illinois ; John 
V. Farwell, Lake Forest, Illinois : Jonathan Hiestand, Mount Morris. Illinois ; John 
Sharp, Pasadena, California; ^Irs. Mary I. Wood, Portsmouth, New Hampshire; 
Rev. T. Lee Kiiotts, Middletown, Illinois; X. J. Miller, Denver, Colorado; W. L. 
Eikenberry, St. Louis, Missouri ; E. L. ^^'ells, Aurora, Illinois ; Frank E. Stevens, 
Sycamore, Illinois ; Airs. Ada A. Mix, Redlands, California ; Elijah Dresser, Rock- 
ford. Illinois ; and the following named persons, all of Ogle County ; D. L. Miller, 
John S. Rosier, Mr. \'irgil A. Reed, Victor H. Bovey, Miss Anna B. Champ- 
ion, Judge James H. Cartwright, Amos F. Moore, Miss Emily Cartwright, Wallace 
Heckman, Lorado Taft, Mrs. Ralph Clarkson, Dr. and Mrs. A. W. Hoyt, Col. 
and Mrs. F. O. Lowden, Mrs. H. J. Farwell, Airs. Barbara E. McNeill, J. E. 
Miller. Judge J. D. Campbell, Charles T. King. Horace W. Sullivan, Mrs. Cath- 
erine Nye, Charles H. Betebenner. F. R. Artz, Benjamin Chaney, Mrs. T. O. John- 
ston, Airs. Anne Spoor. Airs. Alice E. Light, Airs. Alary L. Chamberlain, Mrs. 
James T. Fosler, Airs. James H. Alore, Airs. Julia W. Peek, Airs. Emma J. Her- 
bert, Mrs. Ezra J. Kailer, Aliss AI. Gertrude Gilbert, Miss Tennie Dimon, Airs. 
R. F. Nye, Airs. H. E. Wade, F. G. Taylor, T. A. Jewett, L. V. Rummery, Airs. 
J. A. Barden, Airs. Emma L. Burroughs, Airs. Emma Heller, Air. and Airs. H. W. 
Gushing, Airs. Florence Hawthorne Bailey. Aliss Jane Chase, Aliss Jessie G. Salz- 
man, Airs. Blanche Fearer Strong, Col. B. F. Sheets, Alajor Franc Bacon, Michael 
Seyster, J. C. Seyster, Air. and "Airs. Joseph Sears, Aliss EfTa B. Alitchell, L. F. 
Thomas, Dr. B. B. Bemis, Airs. Alary Hawthorne Rutledge, Air. and Airs. 
Samuel McGufifin, Dr. W. C. Bunker, Samuel Alitchell, Asa Dimon, Z. A. Landers, 
W. P. Fearer, William Stout, Airs. Charles Newcomer, Clarence S. Haas, Wil- 
liam C. Andrus, James Pankhurst. Al. D., David H. Hayes, R. W. King, J. H. 
Stevenson, D. D., John A. Atwood, Osmer Noble, Thomas H. Lines, F. A. 
Eychaner, Airs. H. H. Stinson, Charles Al. Alyers, George J. Burroughs, William 
A. Hunt, William J. Fruin, William D. Alackay, P. E. Hastings, Robert F. 
Adams, Rev. C. B. Schroeder. Frank Reeverts, B. F. Perr\', Urias Brantner, 
G. W. Dicus, A. D. Reed. Airs. AI. Allen, Airs. Alary R. Washburn, Elmer C. 
Thorpe, Rev. William DiekhofT, Air. and Mrs. H. A.' Smith, Roy Householder, 
Herman Erxleben. 

Special acknowledgment is made to the Illinois State Historical Society for 
the loan of the copperplate of Governor Ford in their possession, and also to 
various operators in charge of telephone stations in different parts of the count>' 
for their capable assistance in obtaining desired information. 

^^- ^'l^^ 

U'ccX'coc^ yV. ^rtytij/Z-t^t^^i^ . 





Natural Vegetation — Forests — The "White Pine Woods of Ogle 
County" — Projected Forest Reservation — Rock River Scenery — 
Botany of Ogle County — State Tree and Flower Emblems — Some 
Historic Boulders^A Lincoln Memorial — Site of the Driscoll 
Tragedy Marked— The Black Hawk Boulder 618-628 



Birds and Animals — Insects — Fishes and Reptiles — The Mussel Shell 

Industry 628-634 



The Mound Builders — Indians — Tribes and Relics — Black Hawk's Vil- 
lage 634-638 



County Organizations — The Evolution of Ogle County — Various 

Counties of Which it Formed a Part — First and Present Area 638-641 



The First Projected Northern Boundary of Illinois — The Present 
Boundary — Alleged Violation of the Compact of 1787 — The Agita- 
tion for Returning to Wisconsin the Disputed Territory— The Meet- 
ings in Ogle County 641-644 



Then and Now— The Early Settlers— Grove Settlements, Avoiding the 
Prairie — Roads and Travel — Hardships and Dangers — Customs — 
The Log Cabin — Prices and Wages — An Early Wedding — Pastimes 
and Amusements 644-649 



First Deed Covering a Land Transfer in Illinois — Surveys by Metes and 
Bounds — The Government Rectangular System — Early and Present 
Land Values " 649-652 



First County Building a Jail — First Court House Erected in 1839 — 
Destroyed by an Incendiary Fire — Later County Buildings with Cost 
—County Farm Established in 1878 '^ 652-653 



Crops and Farming at Time of Settlement — Present Fanning — Farmers' 

Institute — County Fair — Springvale Farm — Sinnissippi Farm 653-657 



Presidential Campaigns — Representation in Congress ; for Governor ; in 
the Constitutinal Conventions ; in the General Assembly ; in the Courts 
and the County Offices- — the Lincoln Speech of i856^Local Option 
Vote of 1908 658-664 



Revolutionary War — War of 1812 — Black Hawk War — ^lexican War — 
War of the Rebellion — Spanish-American War — Service Rendered 
by Company M, Illinois National Guard 664-671 



Ogle County a Center of Activity in Black Hawk War Days — The 
Durlev and St. Vrain }ilurders — Details of the St. Vrain Affair and 
Sketch of His Life 671-673 



Grand Army of the Republic — Its Organization at Decatur in 1866 — 
Mrs. John A. Logan's Memorial Day Address — G. A. R. Organ- 
izations in Ogle County — List of Commanders, and Charter Members 
— Present Membership — Women's Relief Corps — Object of Organ- 
ization, with Date and First and Present Officers — Sons of Veterans 
—The Patriotic Song, "Illinois" 673-678 



The Courts of the French Settlers and the Civil Law — Introduction of 
English Common Law — Dislike of Trial by Jury — The French 
Custom Reinstated by the British Government — First Courts Under 
State Law — Later Changes — County Commissioners' Court — Probate 
Justices — County Courts — Anecdotes of Early Practice — Important 
Trials— Members of the Bar ' 678-684 



The Practitioner in Pioneer Days — ^Materia Medica Then and Now — 
Names of Early Physicians — Surgery — Trained Nurses — Present 
Physicians 685-685 



The Six Railroads of Ogle County — Early Railroad Enterprises in 
Illinois — Litigation Over Railroad Aid Bonds — List of Stations on 
Railroad Lines — The Bell and Local Telephone Companies 685-689 



Masons and Eastern Star — Odd Eellows and Rebekahs — Modern Wood- 
men and Royal Neighbors — Mystic Workers of the World — Court of 
Honor — Knights of the Globe— Yeomen of America — Ivnig-hts of 
Columbus 689-694 



Women's Clubs — Temperance Organizations — Business Men's Clubs — 

Chautauqua — Old Settlers' Association 694-706 



Well-Known in the East — Traveled From Chicago to Dixon and Oregon 
in Lumber Wagon — W. W. Fuller of Oregon, a Relative — Impres- 
sions of Rock River A'alley — Wrote Poem and Named Spring — Her 
]\Iarriage to Count D'Ossoli and Their Sorrowful Fate — ^Margaret 
Fuller Island Dedicated — Letter From Bronson Alcott 706-710 



Ganymede and Eagle's X'est — History of the Colony — Authors and 
Artists Who Have ?\Iade it Their Summer Home — Other X'^oted 
Visitors — Rock River Scenery — Interesting Events — Rent-Paying 
Ceremony — Beauvoir — The Grange — ]\IcKenney's Island 710-713 


Life in Ogle County From 1838 to 1845 — Reminiscences of the Late 
John V. Farwell — Oregon City in Embryo — Conditions and Methods 
of Pioneer Life — Hunting and Game — Early Industries and Trades. . 714-719 



Some Additional Notes on Early Histor_v — Mrs. J. W. Peek on "Pioneer 
Mothers" of Ogle Count}- — Early Domestic Life, Methods and Con- 
ditions — Col. B. F. Sheets' Reminiscences of Oregon City — Beginning 
and Development — The Canada Settlement — An Outgrowth of the 
Canadian Rebellion of 1837-38 — Some Principal Representatives of 
the Canadian Colony 720-725 



Pioneer Schools of Ogle County — Lafayette Grove School — The Fair- 
view School — Oregon Schools — The Canada Settlement School — 
Mount Morris Schools — Methods and Conditions in Early Schools — 
Rock River Seminary — Passes Into the Hands of the United Brethren 
— Its Later History as Mount 2\Iorris College . . 725-731 



First Ogle County Jail and Treatment of Early Criminals — Court Con- 
ditions and First Criminal Trial — Other Noted Court Contests — Trial 
of Liquor Cases — Development of Criminal Organizations — The 
Prairie Bandits and Murder of Captain Campbell of the Re.gna- 
lators — The Driscoll Lynching and Acquittal of the Perpetrators — 
Story of the Tragedy as Told by an Eye-Witness — Incident in the 
Life of Gov. Ford — A Lynching Case of Civil War Days — Later 
Incidents in Court and Criminal History 7Z-'7Z7 



Individual Sketches of Ogle County Townships Arranged in Alpha- 
betical Order — Date of Organization, Area and Population— List of 
Early Settlers and Public Officials — Cities, Towns and \'illages — 
Incidents of Local History — Schools, Churches and Public Libraries.. 738-828 



The Part of Biography in General History — Citizens of Ogle County 
and Outlines of Personal History — Personal Sketches Arranged in 
Encyclopedic Order 829-1067 


Andrus Plow Manufactory 810 

Castle Rock 793 

College Campus 728 

Company D, 93d Illinois 668 

Court House (1S48) 652 

Court House (1892) 653 

Deere Plow Factory 793 

Eagle Nest Camp House 729 

Entrance to Sinnissippi Farm 792 

Ford Cabin 675 

Hotel Rock 793 

Inspiration Point 793 

Kyte River 792 

Lincoln Rock 674 

Map of Ogle County 617 

Map of the School Districts 617 

Phelps Log Cabin 675 

Public Library, Oregon 729 

Public Library, Polo 729 

Public School, Polo 728 

Residence of Frank 0. Lowden 792 

Residence of John W. Clinton 729 

Ruins of Mill on Pine Creek 793 

Schiller Piano Factory 810 

Soldiers' Monument, Daysville Cemetery ... 674 

Stillman Valley Monument 674 

Washington Grove Boulder 674 


Abbott, Emma 720 

Allaben, James W 622 

Anderson, John 626 

Aplington, Zenas 633 

Bain, Angus 715 

Baker, Da\-id J 642 

Baker, Mrs. David J 642 

Baker, Elias 636 

Baker, John W 642 

Baker, Mrs. John W 642 

Beers, Richard H 646 

Beers, Mrs. Richard H. 646 

Blanchard, Alba G 656 

Braiden, Miles J , 662 

Buck, Daniel 678 

Buswell, Joel B 682 

Bus\vell, Laura V 682 

Campbell, John D 686 

Clark, William M 692 

Clark, Mrs. William M 692 

Clinton, John W 696 

Dicus, George W 702 

Ettinger, Martin L 706 

Farwell, H. J 720 

Farwell, Mrs. H. J 720 

Fish, Isaac A 710 

Fish, Mrs. Isaac A 710 

Ford, Thomas 721 

Harrington, Chester C 724 

Hayes, Charles F. (Family Group) 734 

Hitt, Robert R 738 

BoiThine, David 715 

Hoffmann, Catherine May McXeill 720 

Joiner, Mary J 748 

Joiner, William W 744 

Jones, Frederick G 754 

Kauffman, Horace G. . . . Following Title Page 
Kaufl'man, Rebecca H . . . Following Title Page 

King, William H 758 

Knowlton, I. S 715 

Korf, William H 764 

Kosier, John S 76S 

Kridler, Burton D 774 

Landon, William P 778 

Lawrence, Johnson 782 

Lowden, Frank 788 

McCrea, Alfred B 796 

McNeill, Barbara Wagner 720 

Moore, Jonathan L 814 

Moore, !Mrs. Jonathan L SIS 

More, James H 802 

More, Jlrs. James H 802 

Myers, Charles M 822 

Xewcomer, Charles . . 826 

Noble, Charles B. (Family Group) 830 

Nye, Catherine 720 

O'Brien, George D 836 

O'Kane, Joseph 840 

O'Kane, Jannett 844 

Old Settlers (Group— 1894) 714 

Old Settlers (Group— 1898) 714 

Page, Edward C 720 

Patterson, James J 850 

Peek. Henry C 854 

Perkins, George W 860 

Reed, Virgil E 864 

Riley, Edwin H 870 

Riley, Harriet M 874 

Row, William H 878 

Schneider, Charles 8S2 

Schryver, Martin E 886 

Sheets, Benjamin F 890 

Shoemaker, Pearson 894 

Shoemaker, Mrs. Pearson 894 

Shumway, Eugenia M 898 

Shumway, Romanzo G 898 

Smith, Jonas C (Family Group) 902 

Smith, Robert 906 

Southworth, John 910 

Southworth, Thomas G 914 

Stewart, John 918 

Stewart, Phidelia M 918 

Stocking, William 922 

Tice, John H 926 

Tice, Mrs. John H 926 

Tice. Otho 930 

Tice, Mrs. Otho 930 West, Mrs. McFarlen J 954 

Trine, Ralph Waldo 811 Williams, C. K 715 

Turkington, George E 934 Wood, Clarence 962 

Wamsley, Charles C 938 Wood, Elisha S 958 

Wamsley, Rachel H 938 Wood, Mrs. Elisha S 958 

Warner, DeWitt 942 Woolsey, Richard D 966 

Waterbury, David 946 Zick, Fred 970 

Waterbury, Emeline 946 Zumdahl, Christian H 974 

Waterbury, John 950 Zumdahl, Dorothy 974 

West, McFarlen J 954 


coyotes of the western plains. They were much 
larger and bolder than the latter. In size they 
were midway between the timber wolf and the 
coyote. Many a good dog would hesitate to 
give battle to a full-grown one, and a pair were 
more than a match for any dog. They fought 
with quick, rapid snaps, and their powerful jaw.-i 
made their sharp teeth cut lil^e knives. They 
were sneaking and cowardly enough ; yet they 
were crafty and persistent, and, when hungry 
and emboldened by numbers, or when cornered 
and desperate, they were formidable fighters." 

A story related by Judge Dean Caton, in his 
"Early Bench and Bar of Illinois," illustrates 
the prevalence of the deer In the Rock River 
region. (The story, even if true, is not pleas- 
ant, though it appears humrorous to the nar- 
rator.) The "English family, of the name of 
Henshaw," which he refers to as having feasted 
upon deer so frequently, spent much time in 
hunting, and was the family with whom Mar- 
garet Fuller and her friends made their stay 
while in Oregon. Mr. Henry Elsey, writing in 
the "Trl-Countj- Press," on "Some Things the 
Old Folks Saw In Pioneer Days," says : 

"Deer could be seen grazing in herds of ten 
or twenty, or skimming over the prairies and 
passing out of sight into the dense woods. Then 
there were in the springtime flocks of prairie 
plovers, crooked-billed snipes, geese, ducks and . 
brants, _ almost constantly in sight; while upon 
some rise of ground the sand-hill cranes were 
dancing a eotiinon and the 'boom, boom' of 
prairie chickens was heard in all directions. 
Yes, and there were lots of snakes in the prairie 
grass ; blue racers, five and six feet long. They 
did no more harm than to give a man or team 
a scare; but the little rattlesnake (Indian name 
( Massasaiir/a). or 'sauger,' was a source of ter- 
ror, as its bite was deemed to be fatal." 

At the present time it is reported that a herd 
of deer, as many as fifty-eight in number, are 
running about in the central and upper parts 
of the county. Accounts of them have been re- 
corded in two of tlie newspapers of the county 
during the years 1905 and 1907, showing their 
location. A mountain lion is reported to have 
been seen In and about the brush in one of the 
river townships, in recent years. Possibly it was 
the Canadian lynx, which was occasionally seen 
in the early times. A considerable number of 
wild cats were found. On account of these and 
the wolves, many farmers at first hesitated to 

raise sheep. Foxes were prevalent in the early 
day, and still are sometimes seen and cap- 
tured. The woodchuck still abounds to worry 
the farmer with the unguarded entrance and 
exit of earthworks to his underground dwelling 
in the fields of succulent clover and grass. This 
hibernating animal is still the "weather fore- 
caster" of the spring, and "ground-hog day" is 
quite as well known to the generations of the 
present as it was when crops and seeds were 
put in the ground according to the infallible 
"Gruber." A bounty of twenty-five cents is at 
present placed upon the ears of this indefatig- 
able wild creature — as a hunter some time ago 
found out, in presenting for bounty a number 
of skins which lacked these appendages. In 
spite of this bounty, however, the number seems 
not to diminish. 

The raccoon and otter are once in awhile yet 
found ; but the opossum, never numerous, has 
vanished. The mink, the weasel, the skunk, 
thrive as of yore. Rabbits are still found, leav- 
ing their tell-tale tracks in the new-fallen snow 
to tempt the sportsman without a license. The 
gophers, gray and little striped, were found liv- 
ing in the region, as they still are, doing no 
harm but trying the patience of the farmer as 
he goes over his field replanting the corn they 
have dug for their food. Rats and mice are 
still here to trouble house, barn, granary and 
crib ; but these pests came along in the wake 
of the settling up of the country — among the 
ever-pursuing hordes that forage upon the fianks 
of civilization. Moles, with their silky fur, and 
field mice were here when the first settlers 
came, and are here yet, the mole still making 
its burrows and chambered hillocks under the 
lawns and pastures just the same ; and, with 
the precision of a skilled engineer, tunneling 
under the moist earth, with here and there a 
shaft to the surface for air and food. The gray 
squirrel and chipmunk are now rarely seen, but 
the red squirrel still runs over the trees for 
hickory nuts, and sometimes feasts, as that very 
observing and truthful nature-student, Mr. John 
Burroughs, charges, upon the eggs it finds In 
the nests of birds as it whisks about. The fl: - 
ing-squirrel, covered with the softest of fur, still 
at night flits about in search of food. The 
harmless bat, but connected with such deep- 
seated superstition, and having such a fine, soft 
covering, still darts, of evenings, into the lighted 
house to the terror of the inmates. 



The muskrat still builds along the water- 
courses. During the winter of 1905-1906, many 
muskrat houses were built along Margaret Ful- 
ler Island, and in the bayou above the home of 
Mr. E. A. Laughlin. At the latter place these 
Interesting animals ("musquash," the Indians 
called them), went on unconcernedly, during the 
autumn, building their houses while golf was 
being played near. The houses were high, broad 
at the base, perhaps four feet each way from 
the surface of the water, conical or rounded at 
the to-p, made out of mud and a mass of lilies 
that had grown in a net around the place. The 
eonmion belief that when the muskrat builds 
high the winter will be severe, was contradicted 
by the weather of that winter, which was very 
mild, the river where the current was deepest 
and strongest not being at any time wholly 
frozen over. This fact, and the proximity of 
the muskrats, nearly cost a young skater his 
life one afternoon during this winter. Down 
the river he came from Byron, when a muskrat 
running about on the ice not far from its house, 
caught his eye ; watching it, he skated on un- 
aware of the opening he was approaching and 
of a sudden went down in the open, cold water. 
He would have drowned, in spite of some lads 
near who were without skates and means of 
rescue, had not a companion skater suddenly 
appeared around Arrowhead Island with a hock- 
ey stick in his hand. Rock River could tell 
many a tale of such disasters, summer and 
winter. With all her fair, picturesque beauty, 
she has her Scylla and Cbarybdis that bring 
danger and death, year after year, to those who 
skim along over her glistening ice or who find 
pleasure in or upon her rippling waters. 

The eagle, "proud bird of the mountain," has 
found "a local habitation and a name" along 
the Rock River, at Eagle's Xest Bluff. Here 
was its eyrie, its favorite siwt on the rocky 
steep, where its young were nurtured among the 
craggy cedars spreading out as a screen. It 
was with this bird and this spot that the bril- 
liant, but unfortunate. Countess d'Ossoli linked 
her name and her fame as a writer in 18-13. 
Eagles have been found in Ogle County in recent 
years. About ten years ago a dark, blackish- 
gray eagle, its wings measuring five feet from 
tip to tip, was captured by a farmer m his corn- 
field, three miles west of Moun' jrris. This 
e3£:le is now in the iwssession ^^ Mr. A. W. 
Brayton of Mount Morris, its skin having been 

stuffed and mounted at the time of its capture 
by Mr. Brayton's son Louis. 

The wild turkey and its concomitant, the tur- 
key-buzzard, were found in Ogle County. The 
woodcock, which is a species of snipe ; the 
pheasant, which is the partridge of New Eng- 
land, or the ruffed grouse; the quail, or the 
"bob-white of everywhere," and the prairie 
chicken, are still found, but no longer in large 
numbers, as they were in the times of the 
first settlement. The taking of them at all 
seasons of the year, and the clearing away of so 
much of the protecting undergrowth, have al- 
most exterminated these game birds. Under 
the progressive leadership and management of 
Dr. John A. Wheeler, the State game commis- 
sioner, Illinois now leads the States in the 
propagation of game. Dr. Wheeler has been 
instrumental in securing the adoption of much 
important legislation for the protection of game, 
and has systematized the workings of the game 
department. Game Wardens now patrol every 
county, and the license (which costs the hunter 
one dollar per year) and the fines make the 
State game department self-supporting. At the 
State game farm, in Sangamon County, are prop- 
agated these fast-dying game birds, besides 
other varieties to take their places. Mr. C. H. 
Whitman, of Mount Morris, the chief of the 
game wardens of Ogle County, has received 
during the past several seasons, shipments of 
quail and pheasants from the State game pre- 
serve, and has distributed them over the county 
to individuals who wish to take care of them 
till late spring, and then liberate them upon 
their farms or land. A lover of birds who took 
two pairs of these quail from one of these ship- 
ments, in experimenting as to the kinds of 
food they preferred, discovered them to be most 
fond of apple seeds — and apples at that -time 
were selling at sixty cents a peck '. — and canned 
black raspberries. It is not the native pheasant 
that Is sent out. but the English and Chinese 
bird of this species that Is being domesticated. 

The turtle dove, with its mournful "coo !" 
too human to be considered game, still builds 
its rude twig-nest near the habitations of this 
later day. The water-birds, the snowy and the 
blue heron, the bittern, the horned grebe (with 
the obnoxious name of hell-diver), the pelican, 
the sandhill and the whooping crane, the her- 
ring gull, commonly designated "sea gull." mak- 
ing its long flight up from the Mississippi ; the 


loon, with its long-drawn, melancholy notes, 
when approached, are all still found about the 
streams. A party of youthful sportsmen, in 
search of ducks on Rock River, were much 
startled by the sighing cry of the loon, shoot- 
ing one by mistake, with much difficulty and 
time spent in the effort — the shot seeming not 
to penetrate the close, oily plumage, as the bird 
would dive and swim under water, coming up 
at a different place each time. The slim little 
snipe and the plover are still in the region. 
Many kinds of duck, among them the bluebill, 
the teal, the butterball, the mallard, are still 
found making their semi-annual visitations, as 
well as large flocks of geese, and occasionally 
the brant. In the days of the wilderness of 
reeds and grasses and the undrained, untilled 
"sloo," great flocks of wild ducks and geese 
went flying over, and it is said the sound of 
their call could be heard at all hours of the 
day and night, as they winged their way north 
or south, or settled for rest and food upon 
some prolific feeding ground. Early settlers tell 
of great flocks of the wild passenger pigeon 
which would fly north in the spring and return 
in the autumn. One season, it is said, immense 
numbers went north, but very few returned In 
the autumn ; nor have they ever been numerous 
since. It is said that crows were not numerous 
when the country was first settled. It must be 
that the rich fields of corn and grain have at- 
tracted them. Easily five hundred in a flock 
were seen not many winters ago going through 
some council-like performances on the ice on 
Rock River and constantly making a long black 
line over a well-defined crack in the ice. The 
crow, "stately" as the raven, which it so re- 
sembles in this latter day, has a bounty upon 
Its poor, defenseless head, regardless of the use- 
ful service It, too, performs. 

A partial list taken from the writer's obser- 
vation, of the song birds still more or loss 
abundant in the county, some of which remain 
all the winter, is here given : 

Hairy, downj:, red-headed, golden-winged and 
red-bellied woodpecker ; white-breasted nuthatch, 
brown creeper, bluejay, butcher-bird, robin, 
Junco, meadowlark, bronzed grackle, song spar- 
row, bluebird, fox-sparrow, cowbird, belted king- 
fisher, phoebe, chickadee, towhee, golden-crowned 
kinglet, yellow-bellied sapsucker. tree sparrow, 
hermit thrush, ruby-crowned kinglet, cardinal, 
chipping sparrow, winter wren, field sparrow. 

myrtle warbler, red-winged blackbird, cedar 
waxwing, white-throated and white-crowned 
sparrow, brown thrush, barn swallow, black- 
throated green warbler, catbird, wood thrush, 
chimney swift, American goldfinch, Baltimore 
and orchard oriole, kingbird, oven-bird, red-eyed 
vireo, scarlet tanager, yellow warbler, rose- 
breasted grosbeak, bobolink, whip-poor-wll, wood 
pewee, yellow-billed cuckoo, blue-headed vireo, 
bay-breasted warbler, nighthawk, indigo bunt- 
ing, ruby-throated humming-bird, purple mar- 

The evening grosbeak, in seasons when food 
is scarce in Minnesota and Manitoba, and re- 
gions farther north where it winters, sometimes 
comes south as far as this region. Several 
years ago, a flock of forty or fifty evening gros- 
beaks spent the mid-winter holidays on Rail- 
road Island, flying up every two or three days 
to the fringe of hacktierry trees, which loaded 
with their sweet berries edged the bank of the 
river at "the Dr. Mix home." Some years ago 
the chimney swift was so numerous in the 
region that hundreds of these swallow-like birds 
darkened the way over the large chimney of the 
new Oregon public school building; and there 
have been seasons when the banli swallow flew 
in countless numbers over the river and made 
their nests in the hollows of the hardened clay 
of the river slope to the north of Eagle's Nest 
Camp. Owing to the protective bird laws ot 
the State, it is said that the feathered song- 
sters have doubled in number during the last 
few years. Much of this sentiment of protec- 
tion to the birds is due to the Illinois Audubon 
Society, which has this for its object, its efficient 
work being thoroughly carried on by its Presi- 
dent. Mr. Ruthven Dean, of Chicago, and its 
Secretary, Miss Mary Drummoud, of Lake For- 
est. The work of the Audubon Society is en- 
tirely unselfish, not done solely to protect game 
that! the shooting harvest may be increased, but 
looking only to the saving of the birds for the 
general good of mankind, and to the preserva- 
tion and care of the beautiful and helpless wild 

During the summer of 1907, Rock River Val- 
ley was visited by Mr. .John Ferry, grandson of 
one of the early pioneers of Ogle County, Mr. 
John V. Farwell. Mr. Ferry, who is engaged 
in the work ' " '"he Columbian Field Museum, of 
Chicago, was ^.t out in the interests of that 
institution in order to Investigate a theory. 



wliicli was held by the bird department of the 
museum, that, taking a strip of country up the 
Rock River Valley north into Wisconsin, the 
birds of the region were not quite the same as 
to color and size as the same species in the 
country contiguous, east and west. After a sur- 
vey and examination of two weeks, this intelli- 
gent and competent investigator decided that 
there is no difference. 


Among the insects of this region what is com- 
monly known as the "sand," or "river" fly is 
interesting. This is the May fly, and is known 
wherever the trout and salmon are found, and 
in many waters where they are not. This fiy, 
and in its larvfe and nymphie states, is eaten 
by the smaller fish and by the larger ones in 
the earlier stages of their growth. This fly 
is a good bait for the angler. In some sea- 
sons the banks of the river are literally black 
with these flies hanging even to the tiniest 
blade of grass. Sometimes they fly to the houses 
along the bank and, clinging to their sides, in 
a day or two east off their wornout shell, just 
as the spider and the cicada do, and doing no 
harm in any way. Once a few years ago an 
immense swarm of these May flies, looking like 
a dark snowstorm, flew from the river bank as 
high up in the air as the eye could follow in 
the dusk of the evening, and suddenly disap- 
peared in the twilight towards the trees of 
Liberty Hill. 

That part of the Rock River Valley included 
in Ogle County was, in the year 1905, visited by 
the "seventeen-year locust." Properly speaking, 
this is not a locust at all, but a cicada, like the 
yearly harvest fly, or yearly cicada. The locust 
itself is like the grasshopper, only it has three 
joints to each foot, while the grasshopper has 
four. The antennip of the real locust are shorter 
than those of the grasshopper, and it has a 
greater power of flight. These "seventeen-year 
locusts," or cicadse, began to crawl out of holes 
in the ground under trees, or where trees hart 
once beeu, towards evening on .Tune 8, of the 
.vear 1005, and fastening themselves upon the 
limbs and trunks went up the trees where pretty 
soon the brown shell began to crack open in 
the back, and in a few hours a soft white cicada 
emerged, which in a little time began to turn 
to the usual brown color of the insect. In a 
.day or two they were ready for flight and 

song, living about six weeks. A part of them 
has a grayish white fluted membrane, ridged 
like an accordion, under each wing, which the 
insect expands and contracts ; this makes the 
song of the cicada, which always has sounded 
to many people like "Phar-a-oli-oh," in lingering 
remembrance of the plague so long ago in the 
far-off land of Egypt. The under-body of the 
remaining number of these cicadfe is supplied 
with a lance for cutting along the tender parts 
of the branches of the trees, in making deposi- 
tories of the egg out of which is to grow the 
cicada of the next cycle of seventeen years. 
These punctured twigs die and drop to the 
ground as the egg develops and the little white 
worm burrows into the ground and fastens it- 
self upon the tree roots, which nourish it dur- 
ing its long underground stay. It is this which 
injures the trees. It is a prevalent notion that 
these cicadiP do not eat anything during their 
brief life above the earth. This is an error, as 
it extracts vegetable juices, through a long tube 
in the end of its proboscis. At their appearance 
in 18S8, there was a countless number of these 
insects, and the trees were covered all over 
with scored branches. In 1005 they came up 
in numbers only here and there. Likely the 
dry seasons referred to elsewhere as causing the 
trees to die, may have had something to do with 
the decrease in numbers, and the great number 
of cicada worms feeding upon their roots may 
have heljied to weaken the trees. 

At the time of the making of the first set- 
tlements in the Rock River Valley the water of 
the river was clear ; the rocky, pebbly bottom 
could easily be seen, with many kinds and great 
numbers of fish lying upon it, or darting hither 
and thither nearer the surface. It was this 
clearness, showing the nature of the river bed 
as well as the cliff formation along its sides, 
which caused the Indians to give to Rock River 
its name of "Sinnissippi," or "rocky water." 
The "settler" near the river could go out with 
spear, as the red man had done before him 
from time immemorial, and take out "a mess 
of fish" for the family meal — pike, catfish, mus- 
kalonge, eels, bass, and other toothsome varie- 
ties. But the possession of the white man has 
changed all that ! The surrounding soil, bared 
of its protecting forests with their natural 
growth of herbs, moss, tree seedlings, shrubs. 



and rich receptive mold, is carried by the heavy 
raius into the once sparliliug water, clouding it 
most of the year and depriving it of its former 
transparency ; and the fisherman, with his ex- 
terminating nets and seines, has added his share 
to the destruction of the finny dwellers of the 

Protective laws enacted by the State, and 
enforced by Fish Commissioners and wardens, 
have in recent years brought about better con- 
ditions in some of the streams of Illinois ; but, 
as yet, not much has been accomplished for 
their protection and increase in the Rock River. 
Illineis being large and almost surrounded by 
water of diverse conditions, it is ditBcult to 
legislate and easily care for the fish in every 
stream and body of water. The law in force 
July 1, 1905. said that seining shall be "allowed 
between the first day of July in each year and 
the 15th day of April in the following year, with 
seines, the meshes of which shall not be less 
than lyo inches square, in such rivers and 
streams as are used for navigation within the 
jurisdiction of the State." Under acts of Con- 
gress, Rock River is recognized as a navigable 
stream, and consequently comes under the pro- 
visions of this law. 

The fishing law in force July i, 1907, among 
other provisions, imposes a license fee for use 
of a hoop-net of 50 cents per year ; for each 
100 yards of seine or trammel net, $5 per year; 
admits of fishing with hoop-net between June 1 
and April 15 of the succeeding year, and with 
seine between September 1 and April 15 of the 
succeeding year ; limits the use of the trammel 
net between June 1 and April 15 to the Illinois, 
Ohio, Mississippi, Big Wabash and Calumet 
rivers, and to the catching of carp, dogfish, 
buffalo and catfish ; and prohibits the catching 
of black bass, pike, pickerel or wall-eyed pike, 
except by hook and line, and provides that fish 
so caught shall not be offered for sale or for 
shipment between the first day of September 
and the 15th of April ; also prohibits the use 
of seine or trammel net between sunset and 
sunrise of the following day. Any violation of 
the provisions of this act subjects the offender 
to a fine of not less than $25 nor more than 



Prof. S. A. Forbes, of the University of Illi- 
ois. is one of the best authorities on fish and 

fish life in this country, and a list, taken from 
some of his published bulletins, of the native 
fish of Illinois, many of which are found in the 
Rock River and its larger tributaries — Mill 
Creek. Stillman Creek, Leaf River, Kyte River, 
Pine Creek — will be of interest to the people of 
Ogle County. This list is as follows: 

"Basses — Large mouth black bass, small mouth 
black bass, rock bass, striped bass, yellow bass, 
dark erappie. calico bass ; pale crappie. pike- 
pickerel, little pickerel, grass pike, wall-eyed 

"Perch — Sauger, jack salmon, common ringed 
perch, white perch, sheepshead, common sunfish, 
red spotted sunfish, red eye, blue spotted sun- 
fish ; Warmouth red eye bream. 

"Suckers — Red horse, common sucker, native 
carp, river carp, quill-back buffalo. 

"Shad — Hickory shad, gizzard shad, shovel 
fish, or paddle fish. 

"Now and then an example of lake herring, 
a few eel, dogfish and gar." 

A part of the work undertaken, both by the 
United States Fish Commission and the State 
Commission, is the replenishing of the different 
varieties of fish in the streams. In the distri- 
bution during the season of 1904-05, black bass 
to the number of 600 were placed in Rock 
River at Rock Island, and 1,000 erappie in Rock 
River in Lee County. During the season of 
1905-06, native black bass were placed in the 
river in Whiteside and Lee Counties, 500 In 
each county ; and several times during the last 
few years, through the interest of Judge and 
Mrs. James H. Cartwright. of Oregon, several 
lots and kinds of fish have been added to the 
stream at Oregon. In May, 1908, 2,000,000 eggs 
of the wall-eyed pike were placed in the river 
at the same locality, through this thoughtful in- 

The foreign carp was introduced into the 
streams of the United States about thirty years 
ago. It is called the German carp, but Is a 
native of Asia, and cultivated for many cen- 
turies in Europe, whence were brought to our 
streams the improved varieties — the leather 
carp, the blue carp, the mirror carp. This fish 
is regarded by many with as much dislike as 
is another of our importations — the English 
sparrow. However, it is said to be highly prized 
by fishermen for market purposes, and to find a 
ready sale in the large cities ; it is also said 
that there are no better waters in the country. 


if in the world, to produce the carp, than those 
of Illinois. Dr. Hugh M. Smith, Assistant U. S. 
Fish Commissioner, says : 

"The carp has been domesticated in Europe 
from time immemorial, and represents among 
the finny tribe the place occupied by poultry 
among birds. It is a fish adapted to the far- 
mer's ponds and to mill-dams, less so to clear, 
gravelly rivers with a strong current. Where 
there is quiet water with muddy bottom and 
abundant vegetation, there is the home of the 
carp; there it will grow with great rapidity, 
sometimes attaining a weight of three to four 
pounds in as many year.s. It is a vegetable 
feeder and not dependent upon man for its sus- 
tenance. As an article of food, the better va- 
rieties rank in Europe with the trout and bring 
the same price per pound." 

Marie Hansen Taylor, the widow of Bayard 
Taylor, in her book of reminiscences, "On Two 
Continents," relates an amusing incident in 
which the German carp is the chief figure. It 
was while Mr. Taylor was representing the 
United States as Minister to Germany that the 
incident occurred. He brought, unexpectedly, a 
guest to dinner (as the good man of the house 
often does, to the consternation of the "Haus- 
frau!") and the cook served but one small carp 
for them all — though Mrs. Taylor adds, that the 
fish was delicious. 


Within a few years there has sprung up in 
the State of Illinois a rapidly growing water 
Industry, which is the taking of the mussel, or 
fresh water clam, from the rivers for the manu- 
facture of buttons from its shell. In the Rock 
River clam shells pearls are .sometimes found, 
which adds another motive for the industry. A 
lady residing in Oregon, while visiting in New 
York City during the winter of 1907, was told 
by a young friend who had formerly resided in 
this region, of his having been surprised not 
long before by seeing in a jeweler's window in 
that great metropolis a tray of these beautiful 
translucent spheres, marked "Rock River 
Pearls." Some years ago Mr. Edwin J. Allen, 
of Mount Morris, fished especially along the 
Rock River for pearls, meeting with considerable 
success. One of the pearls found in 1907 by 
the indefatigable and well-known fisherman. Mr. 
Henry Twogood. of Oregon, was sold in the 
neighborhood for $250. This same fisherman. 

early in the spring of 190S, caught in his seine 
a huge sturgeon weighing about seventy pounds. 




"Full many a legendary tale 
Still holds aside oblivion's veil. 
And speaks to men of other days. 
Those ancient warriors' blame or praise, 
Attested down the years unknown. 
By plctograph and rough-hewn stone, 
Whereon, in symbols rude, we read 
The archives of a nation dead. 
With boulders, mounds and mountain-rents, 
And river bluffs for monuments." 
—The Myth of Stone Mo? :— William P. Jones. 

The Mound Builders, very remotely, seem to 
have been the first occupants of the Rock River 
region. The evidence of their possession re- 
mains in the tangible records which they con- 
structed, for whatever reason, with so much 
labor and persistence, and in such numbers. 
The Indians appeared to have no knowledge of 
these mounds or earthw^orks, found so widely 
scattered over the territory from the Allegheny 
to the Rocky Mountains, and their purpose, 
whether for burial places, for religious rites, or 
for war, cannot be entirely understood. In the 
"Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois," Vol. I of 
this work, pp. 388-391, it is said : 

"The Rock River region seems to have been 
a favorite field for the operation of the mound 
builders, as shown by the number and variety 
of these structures, extending from Sterling, In 
Whiteside County, to the Wisconsin State line. 
A large number of these were to be found In 
the vicinity of the Kishwaukee River in the 
southeastern part of Winnebago County. The 
famous prehistoric fortification on Rock River, 
Just beyond the Wisconsin boundary — which 
seems to have been a sort of counterpart of the 



The pioneer period of any region is one of 
special interest to those who, coming after, reap 
and enjoy the blessings which the pioneer's 
sturdy battle with first conditions Inaugurated. 
The imagination pictures romance and adven- 
ture in the beginnings of a new country. Blaz- 
ing the way charms with the delight of being 
first on the scene. The "forest primeval" was 
pathless and bestowed its beauty of vine, shrub 
and tree in a pristine freshness never repeated. 
The virgin prairie, 

"Its unshorn fields, limitless and beautiful," 
was Nature's own flower garden. 

The toils, makeshifts, vicissitudes and dan- 
gers of pioneer life are trying experiences, but 
they are full of the satisfaction of personal 
achievement, of bending Nature to man's use 
and benefit, unaided by many of the helpful 
agencies of settled communities. 

Another reason for our interest in pioneer 
history is fouml in the characteristics of the 
men and women who become pioneers and 
make history. In the strenuous march of human 
endeavor, the conser^'ative citizen remains snugiy 
at home. He leaves it to his more ardent and ven- 
turesome neighbor, dreaming of fortune and de- 
lighting in new scenes, to take his seat in the bow 
of the boat and, with his eyes directed toward 
the future, pilot the craft to a distant shore.there 
to begin with others the founding of a new state. 
This brings together a group of men and women 
of vigorous minds and stout hearts, whose more 
than common qualities of character are devel- 
oped and strengthened by the demands of the 

life which they have courageously chosen. They 
find c-onditions more than usually difiicult, but 
meet and overcome them. They see others' needs 
and give, not of money, but of themselves, which 
is infinitely more. They exhibit the funda- 
mental virtues in a way and to a degree not 
always given to those of older communities to 
do, and the fundamental virtues are sufflciei't 
of themselves to give men and women a high 
place in the estimation of mankind. To be ac- 
counted worthy, and in the best sense success- 
ful, men and women need not be prominent or 
wealthy, or even educated. They must be hon- 
est, generous, broad minded, good neighbors, 
good friends and good citizens. "The vital ele- 
ment in judging any man," says President Roose- 
velt, "should be his character and deeds, and 
neither his position, nor his pretensions, should 
vary the rule." It cannot be said too often that 
success in life consists in noble living, which 
men and women may achieve with or without 
wealth or position, or even much education. 
Men and women in humble circumstances and of 
limited knowledge exemplify moral excellence, 
sweet reasonableness and beautiful service in 
their unpretentious lives, fully as often as do 
the rich and the highly educated. And it is, 
after all, beautiful service, sweet reasonable- 
ness and moral excellence that appeal' to us 
most forcibly, and which we place above every- 
thing else in forming our estimate of the value 
to his community or to his country, of any man's 
career. It was not Lincoln's brilliant intellect 
so much as his noble heart that made him =o 
beloved as Tresident, and that now obtains for 
his memory our increasing love and respect. 
"Conduct," says Matthew Arnold, "is three- 
fourths of life." 





"Rliodora I if the sages ask thee why 
This charm is wasted on the marsh and sky, 
Dear, tell them, that if eyes were made for 

Then beauty is its own excuse for being." 

—Ralph Waldo Emerson. 
In "Western Wilds of America, or Backwoods 
and Prairies, and Scenes in the Valley of the 
Mississippi," John Regan, of Edinburgh, de- 
scribes the prairie as it appeared to him at the 
time the first settlements in Ogle County were 
being made. He says : 

"By and by the forests began to thin and we 
emerged upon the prairie ; we ascended a vir- 
gin ground to the right, to take a survey of this 
celebrated feature of the western landscape. 
Before us, far, far to the east, lay one vast 
plain of verdure and flowers, without house or 
home, or anything to break in upon the uni- 
formity of the scene, except the shadow of a 
passing cloud. To the right and left long points 
of timber like capes and headlands stretched in 
the blue distance ; the light breeze brushing 
along the young grass and blue and pink flowers ; 
the strong sunlight pouring down eversTvhere. 
and the singular silence which pervaded the 
scene, produced a striking effect upon the mind. 
The light breeze wafted perfumes ; the air was 
balmy and invigorating ; the resplendent hues 
of myriads of flowers spread effulgence far and 
wide ; the shadows chased each other across the 
plain ; the butterfly flaunted ; the bee hummed ; 
and it would have required but a slight effort of 
the imagination to suppose ourselves looking 
upon a world fresh from the hand of its Maker." 
The early residents all agree with this in their 
descriptions of the wondrous beauty of verdure 

and bloom on these wide expanses. William 
Cullen Bryant, who looked upon these prairies, 
during a visit at Dixon, Illinois, while they 
were yet almost in their undisturbed virgin state, 
says of them, 

"With flowers whose glory and whose multitude 
Rival the constellations." 

Mrs. John Rutledge (Mary S. Hawthorn), 
who came with her father's family to live at 
Washington Grove, in 1838, says there were 
"Indian pinks, w-ild roses, stjr flower,— just a 
bed of flowers in 1840 from Washington Grove 
towards -Old Chapel' — no timber there then, 
only prairie." Mrs. H. J. Farwell, who came 
to Mount Morris in 1846, tells of "a great mass 
of bloom on prairies everywhere, — white, yel- 
low, purple, red, blue." The rosin-weed, or 
compass-plant, whose forked leaves incline to 
point north and south, growing among the 
flowers, was sometimes seen with delight by the 
traveller across these "prairie-lands," for other 
rea.sons than those of beauty ; and by the small 
child of those days for the chewing-gum that 
could be made out of the juice it exuded. In 
its place the clover blooms, pink, red and white ; 
the purplish-green of the timotliy spikes, the 
brownish-gold of ripened barley, the green of the 
waving rye and oats, and the clustered tassel of 
the corn, with the glint of its broad blades in the 
August sun, now charm the eye, where once the 
wild growths so luxuriantly flourished. 

But Nature cares for her own, and the seeds 
have found root elsewhere. Along the high- 
ways, in the fence corners, in the masses of 
timber found everywhere in the county, along 
the banks of its many streams, covering rocky 
slopes, on the bluffs or clinging in their crevices, 
in hollows, dells and vales, on cleared timber 
land, still thick with stumps, is a prodigal wealth 
of plant, flower, shrub, vine and tree, — where- 
ever man has kept away the scythe, the pruu- 
ing knife, the plow, the axe, the pasturing stock. 
The very rainy season of 1907, following a 
series of several wet years, produced a wonder- 
ful and unusual profusion of wild growth and 
bloom, and things not seen for a long time, spring- 
ing into sight, recalled the memories of early 
days. The clearings on Hickory Ridge, in Rock- 
vale Township, were a sheet of robin's plantain, 
early aster, brown-eyed Susan, and blue ver- 
vain, edged with blazing star, sunflower and 
horse-mint, and the tall poison hemlock and 
artichoke down in the hollow. The white 



fringed flowers of the starry campion were 
found near anothier bit of timber ; Culver's root 
displaj-ed its showy spikes amid the tangle along 
au overgrown roadside; the striking hedgehog 
oone-flower lifted its rose-tinted head erect on 
Wolfs Hill (Siuuissippi Farm), as if it, too, 
were enjoying the far view of the smiling land- 
scape. This cone-flower is the "mysterious 
purple flower," which Margaret Fuller poeticalJy 
thought must have "sprung from the blood of the 
Indians, as the hyacinth did from that of 
Apollo's darling." 

Some years ago the pupils of the Oregon High 
School collected, pressed and mounted about 
twelve hundred species of plants. In this col- * 
lection were many species from other parts of 
the United States, and two hundred from Eng- 
land. Many of the twelve hundred were ob- 
tained chiefly from the regions contiguous to 
Oregon, where a great variety of Interesting 
plant life is found. Along the sloping west wall 
of "the Narrows," and in the rich, moist river 
flats on the east edge, are the spring beauty, 
the hepatica, the anemones, the crowfoots, the 
bloodroot, the Dutchman's breeches, the dog- 
tooth violet, the deep blue and "sand" violets, 
and many others of the flowers so eagerly 
sought as winter is ending his stem rule. Then 
follows a procession of flowers, flnjshing with 
the asters and golden rods of the late summer 
and autumn. Here are found the moonseed 
vine, the smilax, the honeysuckle, the wild grape, 
the bladdernut, the wahoo. At Knox Spring 
grows a prolusion of witch hazel ; and at the 
Devil's Backbone is a shrub of this species 
twenty feet high, as if to hide the severe face 
of this huge vertebra. In the sunnier openings 
in the timber to the south of Knox Spring, 
on Springvale Farm, the wild strawberry has 
its domicile, as many as ten quarts having been 
patiently picked there at one time several years 
ago, by a friend, to be served in a shortcake to 
the guests invited to celebrate the birthday an- 
niversary of the mistress of "The Bungalow." 
A man who worked for some time in the tim- 
ber of this farm, was in the habit, during the 
"strawberry season," of taking in his lunch pail 
a bottle of milk, and gathering strawberries for 
his dessert. This is idyllic, truly ! 

The north and east slopes of Liberty Hill are full 
of all sorts of vegetable forms. There are many 
varieties of ferns, the maidenhair in great beds. 
In September, near the rock-steps, one may find 

the ghostly Indian pipe and the closed-gentian, 
with its bright blue color. A low huckleberry 
grows at the edge of the north slope ; and the 
Virginia creeper, the bedstraw, often used in 
decorative festoons for a "home wedding" in 
June and July, the bitter-sweet, with its orange- 
red seed clusters gathered for winter's cheer, 
all run riot on Liberty Hill. In the heart of 
the timber of the "John Phelp's farm'' nods the 
yellow violet; along the roadway outside runs 
the poison ivy. On the river bank, near the end 
of Ford Street in Oregon, are found the cardinal 
berries of the prickly ash and the purple-blue 
bunches of the alternate-leaved dogwood, the 
sumac, evening primrose, pale purple gentian, 
"baby's breath," bluebell, bellwort, vetch; and 
just above these is a large clump of wild-plum. 
By the road to Daysville, near the Kyte River 
bridge, is a wide field of iris, or blue-tiag, reeds, 
tall wild-grasses, cat-tails, and violets. On the 
northwest slope of Pine Rock, farther down the 
river, one passes through "a sea of osmundas." 
Between the Pine Creek Town Hall and the 
Polo bridge over Pine Creek, is a wealth of grow- 
ing things. There grow the panicled dogwood, 
with its cluster of white berries la the autumn, 
and on either side of the bridge, thrifty clumps 
of the spirfea. The "White Pine" region, located 
here, is most full and complete in a great va- 
riety of growths, both in the tract itself, and 
along the railway and the adjacent highways, 
having been less disturbed by cultivation than 
many other spots. The white water lily grows 
.ibundantl.v in the bayous of many of the streams. 

The story is told in one of the towns of the 
county of an evening wedding, for which these 
white water-lilies were used in ornamenting the 
rooms. When the nuptial hour arrived, to 
the dismay of the family, the flowers had closed 
their petals and gone to sleep, and the beauti- 
ful green, white and gold "color scheme" had 
vanished. The ingenious Chinese, it is said, 
know how "to cheat" these blossoms. They put 
them in a dark closet, then suddenly bring them, 
when wanted, out under a strong electric light, 
and, mistaking it for the sun, the buds open. 

Mrs. Ralphson Clarkson, of the Artists' Col- 
ony, has carried out the plan of having nothing 
but native wild growths around their picturesque 
summer cottage. She has gleaued from both 
sides of the river, with charming effect, the 
wild rose, the elderberr.v, the sumac, the prickly 
ash, the wahoo, the dogwoods, the witch hazel. 



the splrffia, Jacob's ladder, Virginia creeper, 
grapevine, smllax, clematis, honeysuckle, ferns, 
and much else. She has likewise made a study 
of the mushrooms of the region, finding several 
varieties, some of which are edible at some 
stage of their growth to those who know them. 
One variety is quite familiar to all lovers of 
the mushroom who go out early to the woods 
on a warm morning after a warm rain in spring- 
time — that is, the one whose outside Is m crinkly 
folds, with a pale grayish-brown color and vel- 
vety appearance. 

Miss Jane Chase, the capable teacher of Eng- 
lish and of Botany in the Oregon High School, 
has made up for the use of this history the fol- 
lowing list of plants of the region studied in 
her work during 1907 and 1908: 

Hepatica, marsh marigold, blood-root, pasque 
flower, anemone, common blue violet, arrow- 
leaved violet, yellow violet, Dutchman's breeches, 
white dog-tooth violet, white trillium, wake 
robin, Solomon's seal, false Solomon's seal, blue- 
eyed grass, star grass, columbine, meadow rue, 
bird's bill, crane's bill, yellow lady-slipper, In- 
dian pipe, shin-leaf, thimble-weed, clematis, Vir- 
ginia cowslip, puccoon, dogwood, elder blossom, 
ox-eye daisy, white daisy, robin's plaintaln, 
water lily, lupine, widow's tears, flax. Sweet 
William, red phlox, Jac-ob's ladder, sweet clover. 
Queen Anne's lace, violet, oxalis, harebell, eve- 
ning primrose, wild rose, cinquefoil, everlasting, 
everlasting pea, butter-and-eggs, boneset, golden 
rod, wild aster, wild sunflower, blazing star, 
downy false fox-glove, purple fox-glove, closed- 
gentian, flve-leaved gentian, blue lobelia, bitter- 

Mr. Frank G. Taylor, Superintendent of the 
Oregon Public Schools, who has enthusiastically 
and intelligently collected and studied many 
species and varieties of ferns, by special re- 
quest, has prepared for this history the follow- 
ing epitome of his studies of the fern-growth 
of Ogle County : 

" 'Enter this wildwood 
And view the haunts of Nature. The calm shades 
Shall bring a kindred calm and the sweet breeze, 
That makes the green leaves dance, shall waft 

a balm 
To thy sick heart. Thou wilt find nothing here 
Of all that pained thee in the haunts of men 
And made thee loathe thy life.' 

"It seems as if it must have been the ferns that 
gave this call to Bryant. There is nothing in 

the woods so remote from man as the ferns. 
They seem to be of no practical use to man or 
beast as a food, or even of medicinal value. 
Let us believe that they are a special blessing 
of the Almighty, to take mankind to Nature's 
heart where he can see beauty, delicacy, and 
perfection without a hint of the world. 

'■There is probably no section of the Middle 
West so bountifully blessed with these Divine 
gifts as is the Rock River Valley, as it extends 
through Ogle County. On the blufifs and over- 
hanging rocks, along the banks, may be seen 
the hardy tufts of the Purple CliflE Brake; 
nearer the water's edge, the Bulblet Bladder 
Fern ; and in many places the happy coincidence 
of Fragile Bladder Fern and Obtuse Woodsia, 
growing side by side so as to make it easy for 
the amateur to distinguish each. In sheltered 
nooks of the limestone cliffs may be found the 
Slender Cliff Brake and the always interesting 
Walking Leaf. Polypod Is everywhere abundant 
on sandstone. Along the roadway that follows 
this 'Hudson of the West' are found, as one 
lady expresses it, 'just stacks and stacks of 
ferns.' Here are found extensive and luxuriant 
beds of Interrupted and Cinnamon Ferns, and 
on their outskirts and nearby ledges are found 
an abundance of Brake, Maidenhair, Lady Fern, 
Spinulose and Evergreen Wood Ferns, as well 
as occasional fronds of Rattlesnake Fern. From 
a more extensive search into their favorite 
haunts collectors have reported New York Fern, 
Ostrich Fern, Royal Fern, Marsh Fern, Oak and 
Beech Ferns, Ebony, Narrow Leaved, and Maid- 
enhair Spleenworts, Rusty Woodsia. and Hay- 
scented Fern. Undoubtedly there are many 
more not reported and jMSsibly yet undiscovered." 
That part of the natural vegetation which is 
the worry of the farmer and the annoyance of 
the gardener (though often "a thing of beauty'' 
to the nature lover), is still found growing in 
pristine vigor, and must be overcome by cease- 
less cultivation to-day, much the same as when 
the first tiller of the fields bent over the plow 
and hoe to eradicate them ; the wild rose still 
crowds out tlJt clover and oats ; the thistle, with 
the wila .-inary balanced on a swaying branch, 
singlnj, .t? summer lay, the smart-weed, jim- 
son-weed, 'Durdock, yellow dock, velvet-weed, 
knot-weed, nightshade, purslane, and many more, 
still thrive; the wild ivy and the morning glory 
still entwine the stalks of corn; the joint-grass, 
the foxtail, ^^hs equaw-grass, and the coarse wire 


and -wild grasses, still follow the rains. These 
are perennial ! It is the generations of human 
life that vanish, and the records of them must 
be preserved, in turn, by those who come after ! 

"I spent some part of every year at the farm 
until I was twelve or thirteen years old. The 
life which I led there with my cousins was full 
of charm, and so is the memory of it yet. I 
can call back the solemn twilight and mystery 
of the deep woods, the earthy smells, the faint 
odors of the wild flowers, the sheen of rain 
washed foliage, the rattling clatter of drops 
when the rain shook the trees, the far-off ham- 
mering of woodpeckers and the muffled drum- 
ming of wood pheasants in the remoteness of 
the forest, the snapshot glimpses of disturbed 
wild creatures scurrying through the grass, — 
I can call it all back and make it as real as 
It ever was, and as blessed. I can call back 
the prairie, and its loneliness and peace, and 
a vast hawk hanging motionless in the sky, 
with his wings spread wide and the blue of the 
vault showing through the fringe of his end 

"I can see the woods in their autumn dress, 
the oaks purple, the hickories washed with gold, 
the maples and the sumacs luminous with crim- 
son fires, and I can hear the rustle made by 
the fallen leaves as we plowed through them. 
I can see the blue clusters of wild grapes hang- 
ing amongst the foliage of the saplings, and I 
can remember the taste of them and the smell. 
I know how the wild blackberries looked, and 
how they tasted ; and the same with the paw- 
paws, the hazelnuts, and the persimmons ; and 
I can feel the thumping rain of hickorynuts and 
walnuts upon my head when we were out In 
the frosty dawn to scramble for them with the 
pigs, and the gusts of wind loosed them and sent 
them down. I know the stain of blackberries, 
and how pretty it is ; and I know the stain of 
walnut hulls, and how little it minds soap and 
water ; also, what grudged experience I had of 
each. I know the taste of maple sap, and when 
to gather it, and how to arrange the troughs and 
delivery tubes, and how to boil down the juice, 
and how to hook the sugar after it is made; 
also how much better hooked sugar tastes than 
any that is honestly come by, let bigots say what 
they will." — Autohiography of Mark Ticain. 

"I see the noble forest ; 

Leaves glisten in the sun ; 
Up shaggy tnink and branches 

The chattering squirrels run. 
I think I'll go and chase tnem. 

And climb those branches, too. 
Just as in the days long vanished. 
With joy I used to do." 
The Days of Lony ayo :— Rev. G. W. Crofts. 

"Trees seem to come closer to our life. They 
are often rooted in our richest feelings, and our 
sweetest memories, like birds, build nests In 
their branches." — Henry Van Dyke. 

Seventy-five years have seen many changes in 
the forest growth of the countj-. Most of the 
trees standing at the present time are second- 
growths, and so great is the need of to-day for 
wood, that even the much younger growths must 
shake like the aspen leaf for fear of destruc- 
tion. Occasionally among the later forest- 
growth yet stands "a brave old oak," a tall, 
strong hickory, a straight sycamore by a stream, 
or a large elm. The fringe of river timber now 
owned by Mr. Wallace Heckman, is described 
by a man who, as a boy, rambled many times 
through these woods in the '60s, as consisting 
then of trees mostly of the size of the few large 
oaks still remaining there, now perhaps three 
feet in diameter. Oak trees of this size are said 
to have been common in Lafayette Grove in 
Lafayette Township, and in Washington Grove 
in Pine Rock Township. Here also were found 
"walnut and butternut trees of large and stately 
growth," as well as "a fine growth of hard 
maples." From these maples the sap was ex- 
tracted and a "sugar camp," with all its attend- 
ing honeyed sweetness, was there established by 
their owner. Mr. Henry Burton, soon after the 
settlement of that region, and continued in op- 
eration for many years, large quantities of sugar 
being obtained from them. A large water elm 
was found by the party of foresters of the Bu- 
reau of Forestry (now Forest Service) who ex- 
amined the "White Pine Tree Tract," along 
Pine Creek, during August of 1904. This elm 
stood by the water, on the east bank, some dis- 
tance from the dell made by the Spring Valley 
Branch, and measured fourteen and a half feet 
In circumference, and 115 feet in height. It 
was said by this party to be the largest tree 
they had found in their examination of trees 
In the State of Illinois, during the summer. 


This tree has since died; when cut down, it 
was discovered to be hollow, and the owner 
of it found it was the home of a thriving family 
of young squirrels. An elm larger than this, 
of this species and sound, apparently, is still 
standing near the center of MeKenney's Island, 
being about eighteen feet in circumference 

Mrs. Catherine Xye. who came to Mount 
Morris, in her girlhood, from Hagerstown, Md., 
with her father. Mr. James Coffman and family 
in lS-10, gives the following interesting account 
of the forest area at that time : 

"When we first came it was largely an open 
country, with scrub timber growth, as prairie 
fires had destroyed and kept down larger 
growths. We could drive anywhere across the 
country ; it was just underbrush and scattered 
large trees, no solid growth, and the grass was 
knee-high to a horse everywhere. In a few 
years the trees grew up very rapidly, where 
the fires were kept out, as the roots were strong 
in the soil and sprouted up quickly. Prairie 
fires ran through the whole country, twice after 
we came, in 1842 and 1843, from the Mississippi 
River to the Rock River. At the time of the 
second fire we were living at 'the old mill.' 
(This was the first grist-mill on Pine Creek, 
at the place where a dam was afterwards con- 
structed and kept in use for a long time, the mill 
being built by the father of Mrs. Nye and Squire 
Hitt. ) Our folks were out day and night for 
three days fighting fire. We had to carry some- 
thing out for them to eat. The men had to 
'brush' around the cabins, plough furrows, and 
fight the fire in every way possible to keep it 
back. The 'Old Sandstone' eoukl be seen from 
Mount Carroll, at that time, twenty-five miles 

Early accounts of this region speak of dif- 
ferent groves located in different townships. 
Lafayette and Washington Groves have been 
mentioned. Then there were Brodie's Grove in 
Dement Township ; Buffalo Grove in Buffalo 
Township ; White Oak Grove in Forreston Town- 
ship ; Burr Oak Grove. Kellogg's Grove, in Brook- 
ville Township ; Byron Township, "about equally 
divided between timber and prairie ;" at Eagle 
Point, the edge of Buffalo Grove, extending 
into this township, and the eastern edge of Elk- 
horn Grove' into it from Carroll County : in 
Flagg Township. Hickory Grove and a timber 
tract along the Kyte. near the west line, called 

Jefferson Grove; West Grove in Lincoln Town- 
ship; Gees' Grove in Woosung Township; Lynn- 
ville and Monroe Townships, some timber along 
Killbuck Creek ; Scott, a little, being mostly 
prairie land; White Rock, a good tract of tim- 
ber, AVhite Rock Grove ; Grand Detour, largely 
timbered. All the rest of the townships in the 
county, being along the river and its tribu- 
taries, were well supplied with forest areas,— 
Rockvale and Pine Creek Townships, especially 
— Hiclvory Ridge being in Rockvale, and Oak 
Ridge and the "White Pine Woods" in Pine 

Prof. W. L. Eikenberry. who has closely 
studied the trees and plants of the county. In 
a paper on "The Forest Ecology of Ogle County," 
makes the following interesting statement re- 
garding the distribution of certain species of 
trees : 

"It is in place here to call attention to an ap- 
parent exception to the general rule that the 
better land is occupied by the white oak rather 
than the black. In the formerly timbered areas 
northwest of the village of Jlount Morris the 
reverse seems to the case. There Is no richer 
land in the county than much of this. It re- 
sembles the prairie closely, excepting in the vi- 
cinity of some of the watercourses. The soil 
and topography make one feel that it was in- 
tended for prairie, and missed its destiny ; but 
the remaining timber is of the Xerophytlc Oak 
type — that is, black and burr oak — with some 
shellbark hickory. The resemblance to the 
prairie is the explanation of the paradox. What- 
ever may he the factors which exclude trees 
from the fertile prairies, they are operative here 
also, and only the more hardy oaks can make 
any success of the struggle. The few facts 
which can be gathered at this late date, tend 
toward the conclusion that the timbered area 
was being extended at the expense of the prairie 
when the settlement of the countiy interrupted 
nature's processes. If that be true, this area 
marks the first considerable encroachment of the 
forest in this vicinity. 

"It is an interesting coincidenc-e that, where- 
ever there is even a small exposed limestone ledge 
reasonably free from interference by man, there 
will be at least a few basswoods. This per- 
sistence of the chief character tree of the cliffs 
is often astonishing. On the other hand, upon 
the ]iorous sandstone cliffs stunted pines, cedars 
and black oaks are almost the only trees present. 


A location of much interest in ttiis respect, and 
one which shows well the relation these trees 
bear to the two rock formations, is found along 
the lower course of Pine Creek and the parts of 
Rock River between the mouth of the creek and 
the village of Grand Detour. Here the sand- 
stone does not rise to the level of the country 
back of the stream, and the bluffs are capped 
with about twenty-flve feet of Trenton limestone. 
Basswood and white elm are here found at the 
crest of a sandstone cliff rising vertically sev- 
enty-five feet above the water, and in other un- 
likely places. The part of the bluff above the 
trees is composed of a very much broken and 
thin bedded limestone, which is separated from 
the underlying sandstone by an unconsolidated 
clayey layer which seems to be quite imper- 
meable to water. Springs occur at this level at 
many places, and doubtless bring to the surface 
along the bluffs a considerable quantity of per- 
colating water, so that again the occurrence of 
these trees seems to be related to an abundant 
supply of water brought near the surface by the 
peculiar character of the strata." 

A township map of the county issued by 
County Superintendent of Schools, Mr. J. M. 
Piper, in 1900, shows the location of the for- 
ests at that time, which are found all along the 
water-courses, large and small, and reaching out 
pretty well from their sides and into their basins. 
This amount of woodland has since been more 
or less decimated by the apparent necessity for 
cutting, and consequent dying, of some of the 
tree-covered areas, in consequence of a series 
of dry seasons during the '90s, followed by 
some extremely cold winters, with little or no 
snow, especially during the severe winter of 
1898-99. The summer following found the foli- 
age of many fine trees attacked by insects and 
turning brown and withered, and in course of 
time the trees were dead. 

In 190.3, upon the request of the late Hon. R. 
R. Hitt, who then represented the county of 
Ogle in Congress, an investigation was under- 
taken by the United States Department of Ag- 
riculture upon "The Diminished Flow of the 
Rock River in Wisconsin and Illinois, and its 
Relation to the Surrounding Forests." The im- 
pression for some years had been that the river 
was decreasing in volume or, at least, changing 
in the regularity of its flow. This investigation 
was in charge of G. Frederick Schwartz, of the 
Bureau of Forestry, and included "a considera- 

tion of the geology of the region, the recent 
fluctuations In the rainfall, the effects of the 
artificial drainage of swamps and fields, and the 
manner in which forests influence the water 
flow, and aimed not only to explain the decreased 
water flow In the Rock River region, but also to 
throw light on the relation of forests to water 
supply In general." "The results of this study," 
says the Government Report, "may be sum- 
marized as follows : 

"The geological formation and topography of 
the Rock River watershed are favorable to a 
sustained water supply. Since the settlement 
of the region the forests have been much re- 
duced in area, while the conditions of growth in 
those that remain have changed for the worse. 
Cultivated land and woodlots have been largely 
converted to pasturage, thus interfering with 
the waterflow. In some districts the swamps 
and fields have been artificially drained. . . . 
Since 1885 the rainfall has decreased. This 
loss has probably lessened slightly the volume 
of the river flow. The fluctuations in the flow, 
however, have been caused by artificial drainage 
and by changes in the forest conditions of the 
region. Of these the latter is probably the more 
important cause." 

This report ends with some valuable sugges- 
tions to the owners of land as to having some 
of it wooded and cared for, as the cultivated 
fields are, thus making the timber tract, or wood- 
lot, a regular paying investment like other crops. 

A tract of forty acres, lying about four miles 
southeast of Polo, owned by Mr. J. Leavltt 
Moore, was thus set out by him, about fifty 
years ago, with young larch trees, with a view 
to using them for fence posts and railroad ties. 
This place, now called "Larchwood Farm," is 
in the possession of Mr. C. E. Bamborough. 
The trees, having never been cut, are now grown 
into a beautiful grove, the pride of the owner. 
Soon after completion of the Illinois Central 
Railroad through Ogle County, the company 
offered to the farmers living near its line to 
transport young larches for such planting, free 
of freight charges. The European larch has 
been found especially durable, having lasted for 
a hundred years in the docks at Liverpool, Eng- 
land ; but that planted on the rich prairie soil, 
grew too rapidly, and was consequently too por- 
ous for lasting long when in use as ties. As 
these trees have grown older, it is found that 
this objection is being removed, as 



pitch has accumulated iu the pores. Mr. Amos 
F. Moore, the brother of Mr. J. Leavitt Moore, 
set out a tract of these larches along the Seven- 
Mile Branch, but it was destroyed by a hail- 
storm, while a grove of yellow locust met with 
a similar fate. Nothing daunted, and possess- 
ing a large tract of land, Mr. Moore planted a 
field with soft maple, and this has developed 
into a dense grove, with many young elms, the 
winged seed of which was blown there from a 
white elm planted near by many years ago. 
Another part of the maple grove is thick with 
cherry trees, the result of seeds brought there 
by robins and other birds. 

Other artificial groves in the county include 
a small tract of black ■ walnut, and in the 
same vicinity a grove of black locust, while 
the hardy catalpa has been planted in several 
localities. The force of the unchecked winds 
over the open prairie has led to the raising of 
"wind-brakes," consisting mainly of the willow 
and the soft maple along the borders of some 
of the farms. The white pine and red cedar, 
procured from along Pine Creek, were planted 
around the early homes of the settlers, both in 
town and country, to protect them from the fierce 
storms, and for their beauty, too. The groups 
of these evergreens, as they surround the homes 
and dot the landscape, are to-day an evidence 
of the house in which once lived a pioneer family. 
The story is told of a bright young Methodist 
minister, now living in California, who, some 
years ago, in Mount Morris, was trimming up 
some of these pines that w'ere set too close to 
the parsonage, with its damp grout walls. A 
friend passing, stopped to inquire what he was 
doing. "Pining for light !" came the quick 

A pine grove set out upon the public school 
ground at Mount Morris by Mr. H. J. Parwell, 
many years the President of the School Board 
at that place, is still an attractive feature of 
that locality. A number of trees had been 
planted by Mr. Farwell about his home in 1856 
and 1857. Having been placed too near to each 
other, many of them, soon after the completion 
of the new .«chool building in 1868, were moved 
by him to the grounds there. Men came out 
from town to his home, one mile south, in the 
winter with their bob-sleds to assist. They cut 
the frozen ground around the trees ten feet 
across, taking the tree up with the ground and 
roots frozen together, loading it on the low sled 

and moving it to its new place of setting, in 
much the same manner as is done at the pres- 
ent time with large trees by the nurseryman 
with his modern methods. For the remainder 
of the trees, including some of the white pines, 
a trip was made by this indefatigable worker for 
"a good school", to the first established nursery 
in the Northwest. This was at Franklin Grove, 
and was started by Col. Nathan Whitney, who 
propagated the crab-apple tree which bears his 
name, and which is found in every orchard in 
Ogle County to-day.^ 

Hedges of osage-orange surrounding the farms 
were, for many years towards the waning of 
the nineteenth century, an attractive feature of 
the landscape ; but, as they became winter- 
killed, they have nearly all been removed. 
These hedges furnished fine shelter for the wild 
creatures, particularly the brown thrush, the 
quail and the prairie-chicken. Flocks of quail 
were often seen hiding iu the tangled grass 
under them. This shrub is the "bois d'arc," or 
bow-wood, used by the Indians in making their 
bows, and is one of the native trees of the 
former Indian Territory and the region contigu- 
ous. It furnishes a useful fuel for consumption 
in a grate. 


"The murmuring pines and the hemlocks. 
Bearded with moss and in garments green, in- 
distinct in the tn-ilight. 
Stand like Druids of eld." 

-—EvaiifieliiiP: Henry "Wadsworth Longfellow. 

"A brotherhood of venerable trees!" — Sonnet: 
William Wordsworth. 

The evergreen tree tract, for which Ogle 
County has in recent years become well known 
throughout the State of Illinois, is situated 
along Pine Creek. A highway running from Ore- 
gon to Polo by the Pine Creek Town Hall bounds 
It on the south: another highway runs by its 
east side north to Mount Morris; the St. Paul 
line of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Rail- 
road goes by its northern edge : to the west and 
the southwest, it reaches out irregularly to- 
wards Stratford and over the charming Spring 
Valley Branch. These boundaries would include 
about six hundred acres. The tract is owned by 
a number of individuals, many of whom pur- 
chased their holdings years ago when the land 

^the firet whorl 
vacation" after "^ 



was sold in small timber lots of from five to 
sixty acres, being purchased for use in connec- 
tion with the prairie farms in that region. This 
forest is traversed by Pine Creek, which rises 
farther to the north, flowing in a winding course, 
and entering Rock River near Grand Detour. 
Pine Creek is a most picturesque stream along 
its course at other points besides that where it 
cuts through this forest ; but in what is known 
as the "White Pine Woods," it reaches the 
height of its picturesque beauty and variety, as 
it runs by the high, rocky, vine-and-flower-cov- 
ered banks, mirroring them in Its clear ripples 
as it eddies by. The creek just before it en- 
ters the tree tract, was deflected from its course 
in 18S5, by the railway company in extending 
the road to St. Paul. The red cedar is also 
found along this stream, chiefly on the west 
side, and the American yew, or ground hemlock, 
a third evergreen, creeps down long stretches of 
its rocky walls on the east. 

In 1903, the Oregon Woman's Council, of 
which body of civic workers Mrs. Rebecca H. 
Kauffman has been the President since its or- 
ganization, took up the matter of saving the 
"White Pine Woods" by having them purchased 
by the State for a forest reserve, thus preserv- 
ing them not for Ogle County alone, but for the 
entire State. The Woman's Council was assisted 
in this work by many interested friends, not 
only in the county but elsewhere. A bill for 
the purchase of not less than 300 acres, nor more 
than 500 acres, and asking for an appropriation 
of $30,000, was prepared by Attorney Horace 
G. Kauffman, of Oregon, who, accompanied by 
Mr. Charles Walkup, of Pine Creek Township, 
called upon the owners of the land and secured 
options on its sale for six months. The measure 
was ably managed in the General Assembly of 
that year, by the Hon. James P. Wilson, of 
Polo, assisted by the Hon. Johnson Lawrence, 
of Polo, in the House ; and by the Hon. Henry 
Andrus, of Rockford, in the Senate. The bill 
was passed by the both houses, but Gov. Yates 
vetoed it on the mistaken ground of needed 
economy in the finances of the State. A full 
account of this movement, prepared by Mr. J. L. 
Graff of Chicago, was published, with illustra- 
tions, in "The Sunday Record-Herald" of May 
17, 1903, which was the Sunday intervening be- 
tween the passage of the bill and Its veto by 
the Governor. At each session of the General 
Assembly since a similar measure has been pre- 

sented by the Oregon Woman's Council, but ask- 
ing for the purchase of not less than 500 acres, 
nor more Than TOO. and coupling with it clauses 
asking for a State Forester, a Forestry Commis- 
sion, and a Department of Forestry at the Uni- 
versity of Illinois. In 1903, the President of 
the Oregon AVoman's Council became a member 
of the newly-organized Forestry Committee of 
the Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs, and 
later its chairman, thus securing the interest of 
Mrs. P. S. Peterson, of Chicago, and all the 
club women of the State in the preservation of 
this white pine region. No bill, since the first, 
has been successful, but the Oregon Woman's 
Council will still continue the effort to have 
preserved by the State this beautiful heritage 
of nature to Ogle County. Meanwhile land has 
risen In value, and timber is growing scarce. 

The General Assembly at the same term 
passed a resolution asking the U. S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture to make an examination of 
the forests of the State, and to make a report 
to the State government with recommendations 
as to the preserving and propagating of them. 
Mr. R. S. Kellogg, of the U. S. Bureau of For- 
estry, now Forest Service, who had charge of 
this examination, sent a party of young fores- 
ters, under the direction of Mr. E. A. Ziegler, to 
visit this region, which later he visited him- 
self. The following extracts are quoted from 
their reports: 

"The piece of land should he made into a 
State forest reserve, since it is the only White 
Pine Grove in the State and shows excellent 
prospects of enlarging itself by natural seeding 
— in time, perhaps, overrunning the greater part 
of the tract — if a little care is taken to cut out 
a little oak, now and then, as the young pines 
become larger and denser. The natural beauties 
are exceptional. 

"The tract contains about 500 acres. Natural 
conditions are favorable to good tree growth. 
The present forest is young and evidently very 
few of the trees in it are over 75 years old. In 
a rather hurried survey, the following species 
were noted : 

Red Oak — Qiieixus ruljra. 

White Oak — Quercns alha. 

Bur Oak — Quercus macrocarpa. 

Scarlet Oak — Quercus coccinea. 

Chinquapin Oak — Quercus acuminata. 

White Elm — Vlmus americana. 

Slippery Elm — Ulm-m pubescens. 

62 (i 


Large Tooth Aspen — Populiis grandidenta.ta. 

Quaking Asp — Populiis tretnulcides. 

Sugar Maple — Acer saccharum. 

Boxelder — Ac^r negundo. 

Hornbeam — Carpimis carojiniana. 

Hop Hornbeam — Oslrya rirniniana. 

Ued Mulberry — Moms riihni. 

Black Walnut — Jtiijlaii» iiiyra. 

Butternut — Juglans cinerea. 

Shagbark Hickory — Hicoria ovuta. 

Pignut Hickory — Hicoria glabra. 

Mocker Nut Hickory — Hicoria alba. 

Sycamore — Platanus Occident alls. 

Haekberry — Celtis occidentalis. 

White Ash — Fraxinus americana. 

Black Ash — Fraxinus nigra. 

Choke Cherry — Pruiim virginiana. 

Black Cherry — Prtiniis serotlna. 

Wild Plum — Primus americana. 

Basswood — Tilia americana. 

Hop Tree — Ptelea trifoliata. 

Black Willow — Sali.T: nigra. 

Juneberry — Amelancliier canadensis. 

White I'ine — Pinus strobus. 

Red Cedar — Jniiiperus virginiana. 

There are a number of other ix)ints of interest 
in connection with the White Pine Woods of 
Ogle County, which it would be desirable to in- 
sert in this history, but whieli lack of space 
will not permit. 

Another most interesting woodland tract of 
Ogle County is that contained in the 6,000 acres 
of the Sinnissippi Farm, which roaches, in an 
almost unbroken line, for live miles along the 
east bank of Rock River. Through this fine for- 
est area one may drive many miles over wind- 
ing macadam roads, which have been constructed 
from rock material found within the limits of 
the varied and beautiful domain. 

Through the interest and assistance of Mrs. 
F. O. Lowden, the writer is enabled to give a 
list of many of the trees, broadleaf and ever- 
green, shrubs and ornamental plants, native and 
planted, now found growing upon the many acres 
of Sinnissippi Farm. They include : 

Silver-leaved, Norway, purple-leaved, red, and 
sugar maple; horsechestnut, European alder. 
Juneberry ; white, river and cut-leaved birch ; 
shell-bark and pig-nut hickory ; western catalpa, 
haekberry, cherry, fringe-tree, thorn, cypress ; 
white and green ash; black and white walnut; 
larch, mulberry, box-elder, ornamental peach, 
sycamore, poplar, choko-cherry, wild plum, orna- 

mental crab-apple and wild crab-apple ; black, 
burr, red, white and pin oak ; black locust, 
maidenhair tree; willow, ornamental and na- 
tive variety of linden or basswood ; white and 
red elm ; Norway spruce, balsam fir ; dwarf and 
prostrate juniper ; red and white cedar ; Aus- 
trian, dwarf mugho, Scotch, red and white pine. 

Among the shrubs are : Hercules club, com- 
mon, purple-leaved, Thunberg's barberry ; sweet- 
scented shrub; gray, red, yellow-twigged, red 
Siberian dogwood ; native and English hazel ; 
Japan quince, deutzia, weigelia, strawberry tree : 
golden bell, snowdrop, or silver bell tree ; witch- 
hazel, althea, hydrangea, privet, syringa, japoni- 
ca, hop-tree ; fragrant, shining, staghorn, cut- 
leaved sumach ; currant ; common and cut-leaved 
elderberry ; bladder-nut, native ; snowberry, In- 
dian currants ; lilacs, ten varieties ; high-bush 
cranberry, snowball. 

Among the hardy plants are : hollyhocks, co- 
lumbine, buttei-fly-weed (wild), asters, plume 
poppy, campanula, glove thistle, bleeding-heart, 
coreopsis, lily-of-the-valley, larkspur, hibiscus, 
iris, bee-balm, Boltonia (like asters), digitalis, 
plantain lily, oriental poppies, peonies, phlox, 
primrose, spiderwort, yucca. 


The "Arbor and Bird Day Annual" for 190S, 
issued by State Superintendent of Public In- 
struction, Prof. F. G. Blair, published an ex- 
tended account of a movement for securing by 
act of the State Legislature the adoption of a 
tree and a flower which might be accepted for use 
as a floral emblem by the i^eople of the State. 
The movement originated with Mrs. James C. 
Pesler, of Roehelle, 111., and as the result of a 
suggestion made to Superintendent C. E. Joiner, 
of the Roehelle public schools, in the month of 
April, 1907, a circular was sent out to the pub- 
lic schools inviting, through the teachers, a vote 
of the pupils on the subject. This was fol- 
lowed in November, 1907, by the circulation of 
a blank for voting purposes, which resulted in 
the casting of 52,107 votes, as follows: Trees- 
Oak, 21,987; maple, 16,517; elm, 5,082. Flow- 
ers—Violet, 10,583; wild rose, 12,628; golden 
rod, 4,.315. The vote was canvassed by the 
Mesdames M. D. Hathaway, Susan Casa and 
Josephine Barker, and on its submission to the 
Legislature the following act was adopted : 

"Sec. 1. That the native oak tree be, and the 
same is recognized and declared to be the native 




State tree of the State of Illinois ; and that the 
native violet be, and same hereby is recognized 
and declared to be the native State flower of 
the State of Illinois." 

Special credit is given to Representative John- 
son Lawrence, of Ogle County, and Senator An- 
drew J. Anderson, of Winnebago, for securing 
the passage of the act. 

The only other State which has selected a na- 
tive tree as a State symbol is New Yorli, which 
has adopted the maple. Other States which 
adopted State flowers are as follows : 

California — California poppy. Colorado — Co- 
lumbine. Delaware — Peach blossom. Idaho — 
Syringa. Indiana — Corn. Iowa — Wild rose. 
Maine — Pine cone tassel. Michigan — Apple blos- 
som. Minnesota — Moccasin flower. Montana — 
Bitter root. Nebraslia — Golden rod. Nevada — 
Sunflower. New Yorli — Rose. North Dakota — 
Golden rod. Olilahoma — Mistletoe. Oregon — 
Golden rod. Rhode Island — Violet. Utah — Sego 
lily. Vermont — Red clover. Washington— Rho- 

An appropriate song, "The Oali and the Vio- 
let," for use in the celebration of the annua! 
Arbor Day, has been published, the words writ- 
ten by C. C. Ha.ssler, County Clerli of McLean 
County, and the music by F. W. Westhoff, Su- 
pervisor of Music in the Illinois State Normal 



A few boulders are found here and there 
within Ogle County, some reaching above the 
surface level while others are almost entirely 
imbedded in the earth. In Pine Rock Town- 
ship some of the finest of these rock masses are 
found. It was on the farm of Mr. George 
Sturdevant, in this township, that the dark gray 
granite boulder, weighing between 3,500 and 
4,000 pounds, was excavated for the purpose of 
marking the spot where Abraham Lincoln de- 
livered his address in the courthouse grounds at 
Dixon, 111., the day before his address at Ore- 
gon, in 1856. A red granite boulder, about Ave 
tons in weight, before the cutting away of the 
softer portion, was taken about the same time 
also from this same farm to mark another his- 
toric .spot at Dixon, but on the opposite side of 
the river. From the farm adjoining Mr. Stur- 
devant's and belonging to Dr. M. C. Roe, of 
Ghana, lying almost even with the surface of 
the ground, was taken the gray flinty granite 

boulder which has been placed in Oregon to 
designate the place of Mr. Lincoln's speech 
there the day following the Dixon address. 
A boulder from this region is used also to mark 
the spot of the Drlscoll tragedy at W^ashington 
Grove. This boulder weighed 3,000 pounds, and 
is a dark pink granite. The weight of the Ore- 
gon Lincoln boulder was about 3,100 pounds, and 
of so hard a quality as to require no dressing. 

It was with the invaluable assistance of Mr. 
Virgil E. Reed that these boulders were se- 
lected, procured and placed. Mr. Reed, whose 
home is at the village of Watertown, east of 
Daysville. hasi made a sijecial study of the 
boulders of the county, and has at his home a 
very unique collection of them, of various sizes, 
colors, shapes, and kinds, set up as a fence 
arouud his grounds, and in grottoes, with flow- 
ers in summer bending brightly above their mys- 
tic outlines. This collection includes rocks not 
only from Ogle County, but from all over the 
United States ; in it are some fine specimens of 
meteoric stones, ranging from 500 pounds to 
7V, ounces; an English chap granite, probably 
the only specimen ever found in the United 
States, which was secured from the "railway 
cut" west of Honey Creek ; a section of a petri- 
fied tree, which was uncovered in a ravine on 
the farm of Mr. John Gibson, in Pine Rock 
Township; fossiliferous forms from the lime- 
stone rocks ; "igneous roclis from the compact 
felsitic rocks to the light scoriaceous rocks 
which will float, and many specimens of min- 
erals and rock crystals." 

What is known as "the Black Hawk Boulder" 
lay on the crest of a cliff along the west side 
of Pine Creek, in Pine Creek Township, on the 
farm of Mr. John Lampin. Standing upon this 
granite boulder one could get a view across 
Pine Creek down to Rock River. A man living 
in that vicinity relates that years ago, when 
a party of Indians were returning through this 
region on a hunting and fishing trip, an old 
woman of the number told some of the settlers 
there, that as a little girl she had seen Black 
Hawk stand upon this boulder and urge his 
braves to be valiant ; and that it was his custom 
to use this cliff and boulder as an outlook. Be- 
ing himself concealed from a possible enemy, he 
could see Mount Morris in the north ; east- 
ward the country across Rock River Valley, and 
beyond Nachusa in Lee Coimty ; southwestward, 
could look through the old deserted path of 






Pine Creek aud across the landscape beyond, 
to the west, far into Whiteside County. In 
1905, Mr. Victor H. Bovey moved this boulder, 
to preserve it as an historic relic, to his pic- 
turesque home, a little distance away on Pine 
Creek, hospitably fitted up by him as a pleasure 
resort and named "Bovey's Springs," on account 
of several springs which find their way out of 
the rocks at this place. 

In 1906 a boulder was placed in White Rock 
Township, to mark the spot where John Camp- 
bell, captain of the Regulators, was killed prior 
to the arrest of the Driscolls. ilessrs. D. H. 
Hayes, R. M. King, with a number of others in 
the vicinity, were instrumental in having this 
boulder placed. (See Page 827.) 




"And God said. Let the waters bring forth 
abundantly the moving creature that hath life, 
and fowl that may fly above the earth in the 
open firmament of heaven." 

"And God said. Let the earth bring forth the 
living creature after his kind, cattle, and creep- 
ing thing, and beast of the earth after his 
kind: and it was so." 

—Genefiis — Chapter I. 


A record of one of the very earliest creatures 
that must have lived in this region is found in 
one of the first histories of Ogle County. The 
account relates to the mastodon, which is placed 
hy Darwin in the "Origin of Species" in "the 
last geologic period," and says, that in 1858 a 
tooth of this huge animal was found in a little 
tributary of Stillman Creek. This tooth weighed 
seven and a half pounds, and was covered with 
a black, shining enamel, being "a fine fossil in 
a high state of preservation." In a history of 
another c-ounty of Illinois, situated likewise in 

the northern part of the State, along a river 
much the same as Ogle County, and having 
much the same surroundings and conditions, is 
recounted the Indian tradition which the poet 
Longfellow has told of the famine in "Hia- 

"O the long and dreary winter ! 

O the cold and cruel winter : 

Ever thicker, thicker, thicker. 

Froze the ice on lake and river. 

Ever deeper, deeper, deeper. 

Fell the snow o'er all the landscape. 

Fell the covering snow, and drifted 

Through the forest, round the village." 

"O the famine and the fever ' 
O the wasting of the famine I 
O the blasting of the fever !" 

"All the earth was sick and famished ; 
Hungry was the air around them. 
Hungry was the sky above them !" 

From the period of the mastodon to the time 
of the occupation of the region by the Indian 
is "a far cry." The early settler rarely found 
any of the larger animals, and their absence 
may be explained by this traditional record of 
the red man. Pere Marquette and other of the 
early explorers mention the buffalo and elk in 
their early reports of the country. In a report 
of a meeting of the "Old Settlers' Association 
of Ogle County, held at Mt. Morris. August 30, 
1883, appears the following: 

"The chairman (President W. J. Mix), hold- 
ing in his hand a buffalo horn, said : 'I hold in 
my hand a relic sent here by Fletcher Hitt, of 
LaSalle County — the youngest brother of Thom- 
as and Samuel Hitt. The card accompanying 
it says it was picked up by Mr. Hitt while sur- 
veying in Mt. Morris, and shows that the white 
man was not far behind the buffalo.' " 

In the "History of Kane County, by Gen. 
John S. Wilcox," issued under the direction of 
the Munsell Publishing Company, and already 
referred to in the beginning of this chapter, ap- 
pears the following, which also applies to Ogle 
County : 

"Occasionally a bear, a panther or a timber 
wolf was seen, but these were only individual 
instances, and so rare as to give no trouble to 
the pioneers. Prairie wolves were very numer- 
ous, but they should not be confounded with the 



ancient Fort Azatlan on the Indiana side of 
the Wabash — appears to have had a close re- 
lation to the works of the mound builders on 
the same stream in Illinois." 

From about the time of the Revolutionary 
War until the first coming of the whites, the 
Rock River Valley was occupied by the Sacs, 
Foxes, Pottawatomies and Winnebagoes, tribes 
of Indians. How long they had been in this 
country is not known, but when Father Mar- 
quette came down the Mississippi in 1673, he 
turned up the Illinois River, and a few miles 
from its mouth found a small Indian village. 
When La Salle visited the country five years 
later he found Indian settlements along the 
larger rivers that he explored. The French 
were the first white men to settle among the 
Indians In Illinois. 

The Sac tribe of Indians, at the close of the 
French and Indian War, was driven out from 
their village near Quebec by the united efforts 
of the Indian tribes occupying that territory. 
They settled at Montreal, and then at Mackinac, 
being driven out of each place by their enemies. 
Finally they settled at Green Bay, and there 
first met the Fox Indians, with whom they 
formed a national alliance. They soon be- 
came as one tribe, aud, thus strengthened, were 
able to hold off their enemies without difficulty. 
Hearing of the beautiful waters of the Rock 
River and the richness of the surrounding coun- 
try from an exploring party of their tribe, the 
Sacs and Foxes gathered together their pos- 
sessions and moved down from Wisconsin to 
the Rock River Valley, driving out the Kaskas- 
kias as they came. 

This was their first settlement in what is 
now Illinois, made after the whites came in. 
With this settlement was Pyesa, father of Black 
Hawk ; and here Black Hawk was born in 1767, 
of Sac de.scent. The Sacs and Foxes increased 
their territory in Illinois, until by 179.5 they 
claimed as far west as Council Bluffs and as far 
north as Prairie du Chien. A portion of the tribe 
under Black Hawk enlisted on the side of the 
British in the War of 1S12, their services hav- 
ing been refused by the Americans. By the 
treaty of Rock Island (or Fort Armstrong) at 
the close of the Black Hawk War, the Sacs and 
Foxes ceded large tracts of land to the United 
States Government. In 1842 the tribe was di- 
vided into two bands and moved to reservations 
farther west. 

The Sacs and Foxes have warred with the 
Sioux, the Pawnees, Osages. Kaskaskias, and 
other Indians, and their record shows that they 
ranked among the fiercest and most warlike 
tribes. Drake said of them: "The Sacs and 
Foxes are a truly courageous people, shrewd, 
politic, and enterprising, with not more of feroc- 
ity and treachery of character than is common 
among the tribes by whom they were sur- 

The Winnebagoes were a branch of the Da- 
kota or Sioux family, having migrated eastward 
to Wisconsin some time before 1070, and settled 
in the region around Green Bay. Marquette 
and the French were the first whites to be- 
come acquainted with them. The Winnebagoes 
were firm friends of the French until the Revo- 
lution, when they joined the English : made 
peace with the colonists afterward, but sided 
with the English again in 1S12. In 1S20 the 
tribe numbered about 4,500. living In five vil- 
lages on Winnebago Lake and fourteen on Rock 
River. The Winnebagoes were at most times 
friendly to the whites, taking no part in the 
Black Hawk War, although, in 1827, a brutal 
assault by the whites on some of their de- 
fenseless people caused the "Winnebago War." 
By treaties in 18.32 and 1837 they ceded all 
their lands east of the Mississippi to the Gov- 
ernment, and were themselves moved to Iowa. 
They lived in several different places in Iowa 
for a time, and were finally moved to Blue 
Earth, Minnesota, where they had no more 
than settled down when the Sioux War broke 
out, again causing their removal, this time, in 
1863. to lands near Omaha, where in 188.5 they 
numbered 1.600. 

Early in 1600 the Pottawatomies were driven 
by the Iroquois out of lower Michigan to the 
country around Green Bay, Wis., where they 
were first found by the French. The Pottawat- 
omies joined Pontiac in his uprising in 1763, 
and took sides with the British in both the 
Revolution and the War of 1812. By treaties 
in 1821 and after they ceded away nearly all 
of their Illinois and Wisconsin lands, until in 
1838 a reserve was allotted to them on the 
Missouri, to which part of them were moved. 
The whole tribe at that time numbered about 
4,000. After this they became considerably 
scattered, some of them wandering into Mexico, 
while some of them settled down and became 
citizens of the United States. 


Catlin says of the Pottawatomies : "They are 
the remains of a tribe ouee very numerous and 
warlllie, but reduced by whisky and small-pox 
to their present number (1884), which is not 
more than twenty-seven hundred. This tribe 
may be said to be semi-civilized, inasmuch as 
they have so long lived in contiguity with white 
people, with whom their blood is considerably 
mixed, and whose modes and whose manners 
they have in many respects copied." 

In August, 1908, there died in Menominee 
County. Mich.. David Krotch, the* last of the 
Pottawatomie chiefs of that part of the tribe 
remaining on the eastern side of the Mississippi. 
He was a young brave of twenty when the re- 
moval of his people in 1838 to the West oc- 

After the Indians had removed from this 
region, it was their custom to make trips through 
it on the way from their reservation to the 
Indian Agency at Milwaukee, where they would 
receive their annuities. These journeys were 
made for some years after the settlement of the 
valley by the whites, and many of the early 
residents recall the passing of these Indian 
bands through that region during the late 'thir- 
ties and early 'forties. It is said these ludiaDS 
always went up the east side of the river and 
down the west, hunting and fishing on the way, 
bringing canoes with them, and ponies which 
dragged the tents over the ground on bent 
sticks. From fifty to a hundred are said to 
have constituted these bands, made up of men, 
women and children. A resident of Oregon, 
Ogle County, remembers their once passing the 
home of her father on Third street, and seeing 
a little papoose drawn on a sort of sled, to 
which it was bound, its head hanging over to 
one side, and those by It showing no concern. 

They usually remained two or three weeks, 
camping sometimes at the mouth of Mud Creek, 
on the flat where the cluster of black walnut 
trees now is, and where then was a fine spring, 
which the building of the dam below has caused 
the river to overflow. Sometimes they en- 
camped upon the level space where now is sit- 
uated the county farm, and near to Devil's Back- 
bone; sometimes by the mouth of Pine Creek. 
Xo one. it is said, had any fear of them at this 
time. One of the boys of that time recalls his 
father taking himself and his brothers to the 
river to see them. Many of the residents would 
go to see them in their wigwams, and to witness 

their dances around their camp-fires. It is said 
that they spoke English pretty well. Mr. Benja- 
min Chaney, of Oregon, remembers some Indian 
words which he heard when a small boy used 
by a party of the Pottawatomies on one of 
their pilgrimages through the valley. In their 
language, the word horse was nac-a-tok-o-she ; 
deer w-as pl^sic'-o-sen; wMskeif was scut'-o-op-po. 
meaning "fire-water"; steamboat was scui'-o-fu- 
ze, meaning "fire-boat." The story of the Black 
Hawk boulder w'ould indicate that sometimes 
these returning people were of the Sacs and 
Foxes, too. The early historical accounts tell 
of these returning Pottawatomies encamping at 
Jefferson Grove, where they left their lodge 
poles standing, "which could be seen as late as 

The first white settlers in the county found 
many evidences of the former occupation of 
this region by the Indians, in the burial mounds 
which were grouped along the river and near 
the mouths of its tributaries, and in the im- 
plements often found. These mounds have all 
been excavated and their relies mostly taken 
out, though occasionally some are still unearthed, 
Mr. Arthur D. Reed, in digging for the founda- 
tion of his summer home on the east bank of 
the river below Daysville, a year or two ago, 
came acToss a number of Indian relics. A cor- 
ner field, by the river on Sprlngvale Farm, when 
covered by short grass, shows plainly the con- 
tour of a number of mounds, the earth being 
replaced after examining the original hillocks. 
A writer in describing the region says of In- 
dian Mound, two miles south of Oregon, that 
it "is famous as being the place on the summit 
of which the Indians sharpened their spears, 
carving in so doing rough allegorical images of 
human figures, animals, etc. A prominent chief 
and friend of Black Hawk was also Interred, by 
the latter's direction, on its summit, placed in 
a sitting position and covered with twigs and 
rocks. The elements and relic hunters have de- 
stroyed all traces of both carving and chieftain ; 
but there are many old settlers still living in 
Oregon (1880) who remember both perfectly 
well." While at Oregon, Margaret Fuller re- 
corded her observation of some of these mounds. 
She says, "A little way down the river Is the 
site of an ancient Indian village, with its reg.i- 
larly arranged mounds. As usual, they had 
chosen with the finest taste. . . . They may 
blacken Indian life as thev will, talk of its dirt. 

b;lias bakkr 



its brutality ; I will ever believe that the men 
who chose that dwelling-place were able to feel 
emotions of noble happiness as they returned to 
it, and so were the women who received them. 
Neither were the children sad or dull, who lived 
Bo familiarly with the deer and the birds, and 
swam that clear wave in the shadow of the 
Seven Sisters." 

Margaret further says of these tribes of peo- 
ple found dwelling in this country at the coming 
of the white man : 

"The Indian is steady to that simple creed 
which forms the basis of his mythology ; that 
there is a God and a life beyond this; a right 
and wrong which each man can see, betwixt 
which each man should choose ; that good brings 
witU it its reward, and vice its punishment. 
His moral code, if not so refined as that of 
civilized nations, is clear and noble in the stress 
laid upon truth and fidelity. And all unpreju- 
diced observers bear testimony that the Indians, 
until broken from their old anchorage by inter- 
course with the whites — who offer them, in- 
stead, a religion of which they furnish neither 
interpretation nor example — were singularly vir- 
tuous, if virtue be allowed to consist in a man's 
acting up to his own ideas of right." 

In the "History of Illinois," by Davidson and 
Stuve, a similar expression of commendation is 
made regarding the "Constitution of the Indian 
Family :" "The most important social feature of 
the prairie and other tribes, and that which dis- 
armed their barbarism of much of its repulsive- 
ness, was the family tie. . . . Though in 
many of the most endearing relations of life the 
men, from immemorial custom, exhibited the 
most stolid indifference, yet instances were not 
wanting to show that, in their family attach- 
ments, they frequently manifested the greatest 
affection and sympathy." 

Mr. Charles B. Farwell, on returning to Ogle 
County for a visit several years before his 
death, made an effort to find on Liberty Hill 
what he described as "an Indian tower," which 
he said he hifd seen there many years before 
when a young man assisting in surveying. One 
of the early histories of the county speaks of a 
"mound" there, which was probably the same 
which Mr. Farwell was trying to find, and 
which is supposed to have been removed to make 
room for the reservoir in connection with the 
city water-works. On the river's edge of the 
timber on the farm of Dr. .\. W. Hovt, to the 

rear of Inspiration Point, runs an irregular low 
bulge, which would appear to have been at some 
time a line of earthworks, of which, however, 
there does not seem to be any record or infor- 
mation now extant. It would, indeed, seem to 
be difficult, at any time, for even the learned 
to know whether many of these mounds and 
earthworks were of the era of the Indian or of 
the mound builder. There was a tradition cur- 
rent among the early settlers that, upon the 
summit of Inspiration Point, the Indians were 
accustomed to build signal fires, which could 
be seen north as far as where Rockford now 
is, and south to the region where now are lo- 
cated the cities of Dixon and Sterling. 

Apropos of this returning of the former mon- 
archs of the country to the scenes of their for- 
mer habitations and attachments, is the follow- 
ing, taken from "Early Rock Island," by Will- 
iam A. Meese: 

"The chief Sac village was located on the 
north bank of Rock River about three miles 
from its mouth, and was built about 1730. It 
was one of the largest Indian towns on the 
continent and had a population often as high 
as three thousand. It was the summer home of 
the Sacs. Here was located the tribal burying 
ground, a spot more revered by an Indian than 
anything else on earth. Here reposed the bones 
of a century of the Sac warriors, their wives 
and children, and here each Sac came once each 
year to commune with his friends and family 
who had departed to the 'happy hunting ground.' 
On these occasions all vegetation was removed 
from the mound and the mourner addressed 
words of endearment to the dead, inquiring how 
they fared in the land of spirits, and placed 
food, upon the graves. The Sacs were particular 
in their demonstrations of grief. They darkened 
their faces with charcoal, fasted and abstained 
from the use of vermilion and ornaments of 

"Black Hawk said : 'With us it is a custom to 
visit the graves of our friends and keep them 
in repair for many years. The mother will go 
alone to weep over the grave of her child. After 
he has been successful in war, the brave, with 
pleasure, visits the grave of his father, and re- 
pairs the post that marks where he lies. There 
is no place like that where the bones of our 
forefathers lie to go to when in grief. Hero, 
prostrate by the tombs of our forefathers, will 
the Great Spirit take pity on us.' " 


Perhaps a similar si^utimeut helped to prompt 
the visits of the Indian people to the Upper 
Rock River Valley once again! A warm heart 
may beat under a red skin as well as under a 
white I 




"Little Of American histoty had been made 
when the making of history began in Illinois." 
— Stephen L. Spear. 

"Not without thy wondrous story. Illinois, 
Can be writ the nation's glory, Illinois." 

—C. H. Cliamhcrlain. 

In 16^4, but twenty-seven years after the 
settlement at Jamestown, Lake Michigan was 
discovered by Jean Nicolet, and named by him 
"Lac des Illinois." While on the Fox River in 
Wisconsin, Nicolet learned of the Illinois In- 
dians. He visited some of their villages, anrt 
was probably the first white man who saw the 
prairies and rivers of Illinois. He made no 
explorations in Illinois, however. The first 
white men to do that were the euterprisiutf 
voyageur, Louis Joliet, and his companion, the 
zealous missionary. Father Jacques Marquette. 
The year was 1673. Before that time, French- 
men from Montreal, a settlement after 1642, had 
discovered and explored the Great Lakes, and 
had returned with vague news of a "great 
water" to the west of the lakes, according to 
information gathered from the Indians. Count 
Frontenac, the royal Governor at Montreal in 
1672, under appointment by Louis XIV, deter- 
mined to solve the problem, and commissioned 
Louis Joliet, twenty-eight years of age, and a 
fur-trader fond of exploration, to undertake the 
quest, associating with him Father Jacques Mar- 
quette, missionary at the mission of St. Ignace 

near Mackinac. Thither Joliet went in the fall 
of 1672 and wintered with Father Marquette. 
Together they completed their plans, and on May 
17, 1G73, with two birch bark canoes and five 
Indian guides, they set out on the most famous 
voyage of inland exploration in America. They 
ascended the Fox River from Green Bay to the 
portage of the Wisconsin. Descending the lat- 
ter to its mouth, they came upon the broad 
surface of the great Father of Waters of which 
they had been told. This they named the River 
St. Louis. They were in the heart of the con- 
tinent ; they would make their report to Fronte- 
nac and henceforth the new region, the great 
valley, should be known to the world. They 
continued southward, passing near the sites of 
the present cities of Prairie du Chien and Du- 
buque. They slept at night anchored in mid- 
stream, for fear of hostile natives, but for ten 
days they saw no human being. The region was 
one of absolute solitude. The loneliness be- 
came oppressive. Finally, leaving their guides 
to guard the canoes, Joliet and Marquette to- 
gether started eastward over the prairies, in 
that part of Illinois, probably where the site 
of tile i)resent town of Carthage is, to ascer- 
tain if the new country possessed any inhabi- 
tants away from the river, since none were to 
be seen along its banks. They came upon a 
village in front of them, and to their right an- 
other appeared.' They hailed the former. At 
first all was confusion in and about the wig- 
wams. Presently four men came to meet them. 

ijn a footnote attached to the translation by John 
G. Shea of Marquette's diary of his trip down the 
Mississippi in 1673. and published in the "Discovery 
and Exploration ol the Mississippi Valley" by the 
former fl8n2), referring to the incident of the visit 
jf Marmiette and .Toliet to the villages of the mini 
here alhided to. Mr. Shea says: "The villages are 
laid down on the map" (prepared by Marquette) "on 
the westerly side of the Mississippi, and the names 
given as I'eouarea and Moingwena. whence it Is 
generally supposed that the river on which they lay 
is that now called the Desmoines ;" and he adds that 
"the upper part of that river still bears the name 
Moingona, while the latitude of the mouth seems to 
establish the identity." According to Marquette's 
narrative the point where these villages were dis- 
covered was about the 40th to the 41st parallel of 
latitude, which would agree with the mouth of the 
Des Moines, while the time (eight days) which had 
elapsed, and the distance traversed (60 French 
leagues — or approximately 150 English miles), after 
entering the Mississippi from the Wisconsin River, 
would imply that the location of the villages may 
have been at least as far north as the mouth of the 
Iowa River. The distance which Marquette and 
.toilet traveled to reach the first village, after leaving 
their canoes on the Mississippi, the former estimates 
at "about two (French) leagues" (five English 
miles). Francis Parkman also accepts the theory 
that tills event occurred on the western side of the 



To these Marquette spoke iu the Algonquin 
tongue, and was Informed by them that they 
were "the lUlnl." The Indians said, "Inlni," 
which, for euphony, the French changed to "11- 

The explorers proceeded still farther down 
the new stream, with which, later on, they saw 
mingle the yellow current of the Missouri, passed 
also the mouth of the Ohio, and when the 
mouth of the Arkansas was reached, they were 
satisfied that the "Great Water" flowed into 
the Gulf of Mexico and not Into the Paclflc 
Ocean. Not earing to meet the Spaniards at 
the Gulf, and hearing, too, of hostile natives 
ahead, they retraced their way on the Miss- 
issippi until the mouth of the Illinois was 
reached. They then ascended the latter stream, 
and by way of the Des Plaines River, the Chi- 
cago portage and Lake Michigan, they returned 
to Green Bay. after having traveled 2,500 miles 
during an absence of four months. 

While going up the Illinois, they saw no na- 
tives until probably at, or near, the site of the 
present city of Peoria. They made a stop Just 
below Ottawa, where they found a large In- 
dian village, the largest and most important of 
the "Illinl." Marquette named it Kaskaskia. 
Years afterward, when the tribe removed, the 
name was bestowed upon the new French vil- 
lage on the banks of the Mississippi, which later 
became the capital, first of the Territory, and 
then of the State of Illinois. The voyagers were 
now in the heart of Illinois. The time was 
June. Vegetation was at its height, and the 
since-then oft-told beauty of the virgin prairie 
was theirs to see and enjoy, perhaps never be- 
fore beheld there by the eyes of the white man. 
FLsh rippled the surface of the stream, and deer 
and buffalo came to the river's edge. Stretclies 
of woodland diversified the scene. Father Mar- 
quette wrote, "We have seen nothing more 
beautiful." (This portion of early Illinois his- 
tory will be found treated somewhat in detail 
in connection with the personal sketches of 
•Toliet, Marquette, La Salle and Tonti, and in the 
Genera! State History, in the "Historical En- 
cyclopedia" division of this work.) 

Lead was discovered at the site of the pres- 
ent city of Galena in 1700 by Le Seur. Ore was 
taken out by the Indians, Dubuque's men, and 
others at various times, in the succeeding years, 
without there being a permanent settlement 
until 1820. when Bouthillier, an Indian trader, 

occupied a cabin and built a ferry, having re- 
moved, it Is supposed, from Prairie du Chlen, a 
settlement after 1750, where he was known as 
early as 1812 as an interpreter and guide of tlio 
British soldiers. About the same time several 
American families came. Interest in the mines 
increased, and immigration followed rapidly. 
Inside of three years there was a population of 
150, and a fortnightly mail to and from Van 
dalia. The place was first known as La Poiute. 
but was soon called Galena, because of the qual- 
ity of the ore discovered there. In 1821 all 
Northern Illinois, north and west of the Kanka- 
kee and Illinois Rivers, was constituted a county, 
and thus Galena, like Chicago, in the words of 
a writer of the time, was "a village of Pike 
County," and the larger of the two. Thirty-seven 
counties, in whole or part, have since been formeil 
out of the territory originally embraced in Pike 
County. The first was Fulton, in 1823: the 
second, Putmim, in 1825, which included what !.■< 
now Ogle; also Henry, which embraced what 
is now most of Henry, part of Whiteside, part 
of Carroll, and most of Jo Daviess. In 1820 a 
voting precinct was established at Galena, by 
the County Commissioner's Court of Henry 
County, and called the Fever River Precinct. 
This was the first election precinct in North- 
western Illinois. The number of votes at the 
first election was 202. WTiatever else these 
voters favored, it was not taxation. A deputy 
collector failed to get a dollar because of a 
unanimous refusal to pay. as appears by a tax- 
list and collector's report now on file at Peoria. 

By 1827 the Galena settlement had suflicient 
population to warrant a petition to the General 
Assembly praying for separate county organiza- 
tion, with Galena as the county-seat. This was 
granted by forming Jo Daviess County, bounded 
as follows : ''Beginning at the northwestern 
corner of the State, thence down the Jlississippi 
to the northern line of the Military Tract ; 
thence east to the Illinois River ; thence north 
to the Wisconsin State line ; thence west to the 
place of beginning. Ten counties, in whole or 
in part, now comprise the territory thus in- 
cluded, namely. Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Ogle. 
Carroll, Lee. Whiteside. Bureau, Henry, Rock 
Island, and a fraction of Winnebago. Fom- years 
later. June 8, 1S.'51. the Coiuity Commissioners 
of Jo Daviess County took action as follows: 

"It is considered that the persons residing 
within the following limits shall constitute 



voters witbiu Buffalo Grove Precinct, namely, 
east of Lewistown Uoad and south of a line to 
include the dwelling of Crane and Hylliard, 
running to the southern boundary of the county 

"It is considered that John Dixon, Isaac 
Chambers and John Ankeuy be and they are 
hereby appointed judges of election for the 
Buffalo Grove Precinct. 

"It is ordered that the house of John Ankeny 
be the place of voting iu and for the Buffalo 
Grove Precinct." 

The new voting precinct here laid off com- 
prised what is now Ogle, Lee, and eastern Car- 
roll and Whiteside Counties. It is believed that 
the voters in this large precinct did not then 
number, perhaps, over twenty-five, the only set- 
tlers in what is now Ogle County being the 
half-dozen families at Buffalo Grove. By 1830, 
Oregon, then called Florence; Dixon; Polo, then 
known as St Marian; Daysville; Byron, then 
called Fairview ; and Grand Detour had been 
founded, and enough settlers in addition were 
located on claims in what is now Dement Town- 
ship, then known as Brodie's Grove, Flagg Town- 
ship, and Lafayette Township, to justify the 
people in thinking they were entitled to a nearer 
county-seat than Galena, distant seventy miles. 
The inuuediate occasion of the organization of 
Ogle County, after settlers had located at vari- 
ous points in increasing numbers, was the desire 
on the part of John Phelps, who had chosen a 
farm and home of several hundred acres three 
miles west of Rock River in the southern part 
of Rockvale Township, and had also made a 
claim and established a ferry where Oregon 
now is, for a state road from Chicago to Galena 
that should cross Rock River at his ferry, where 
several houses had already been built, and the 
town-to-be had been christened Florence. Instead 
of crossing at Dixon's Ferry. This he expected 
would, sooner or later, make bis town, not 
Dixon's, a county seat. 

Accordingly, by an act of the Legislature ap- 
proved January 10, 1836, the boundaries fo'- 
a new county were defined as follows : 

"North from the southwest corner of Town 
19 North, 8 East of the Fourth Principal Me- 
ridian, to the southwest corner of Town 2(5 
North, 8 East; thence east to the Third Prin- 
cipal Meridian ; thence south to the southwest 
corner of Town 43 North, 1 East of the Third 
Princiiial Meridian: thence east to the southeast 

corner of Town 43 North, 2 East ; thence south 
to the southeast corner of Town 37 North, 2 
East ; thence west to the Third Principal Me- 
ridian ; thence south to the southeast corner of 
Town 19 North, 11 East of the Fourth Principal 
Meridian ; thence west to the beginning, shall 
constitute a county to be called Ogle." 

Governor Ford, then Judge Ford, presiding 
Justice of the Circuit Court for the northern 
part of the State and residing at Oregon, sug- 
gested the name "Ogle" in honor of Captain 
Joseph Ogle, a soldier in the War of the Revo- 
lution, whose bravery was particularly shown 
at ITort Henry, now Wheeling, and who after- 
ward lived in Monroe County, 111., where Thoma;? - 
Ford's mother, with her family, also settled;iJ 
Nearly a year elapsed before the election ior. 
count.v officers was held and, in the meantime, 
the county-to-be remained a part of Jo Dr.- 
County. Its official existence began Januar., .;: 
1837, when the first meeting of the County iJ*- 
missioners was held. The Legislature appoint 
Charles Reed and James B. Campbell of ^ 
County and James L. Kirkpatrick. of Jo Dav.-.,s 
County, as Commissioners to select the couuty- 
seat. They named it Oregon. Two years later 
Lee County was set off from Ogle, since wuicu 
time the latter, with its boundaries just as they 
now are, has shared in the progress, development 
and vicissitudes of the great State of which it 
forms a part. 

The organization and settlement of Ogle 
County occurred during a time of important 
changes in the industrial life of the people of 
the whole country. In 1834 Cyrus H. McCor- 
mick invented the reaper that was to aid so 
much in successfully cultivating the extensive 
grain areas of the West. The steamboat and 
the steam-car had suddenly shown that they 
were coming into general use as important fac- 
tors in all transportation enterprises, and es- 
pecially in the matter of settlement of the new 
and distant States. In 1830 there were twenty- 
three miles of railway, all operated by horses; 
in 1837, fourteen hundred miles, with steam as 
the power over most of that distance, and lii 
1841, three thousand miles. In 1836 means 
were found to use coal as fuel in the production 
of steam. In 18.38 the screw propeller was in- 
vented, which brought ocean navigation in sight, 
and in 1830 the steam hammer, which became 
at once the strong right arm of the forge, whose 
output of powerful machinery it soon so greatly 



increased. Also in 1839 Charles Goodyear dis- 
covered the process of vulcanizing rubber, and 
in 1840 Samuel F. B. Morse obtained his first 
patent on the telegraph. All these new me- 
chanical devices, except Goodyear's, vrere of di- 
rect interest and benefit to the pioneer. Their 
immediate effect was to draw nearer to each 
other the East and the West, and, by making 
travel both easier and swifter, to accelerate 
immigration and settlement, besides assuring 
more rapid development of the new regions when 
once the settlers were on the ground. 

Seventy years, the Biblical three-score years 

ten allotted to human life, have come and 
■■ since the career of Ogle County began. 

1" age of a community, that is but a brief 
spai- The oldest County of Illinois, St. Clair, 
was formed one hundred and eighteen years 
ago, i^ .Te the oldest in the United States, Al- 
io Virginia, dates back nearly three 
: years. These are young compared with 
th. -es of England, or the provinces of 

Frr "'Germany. And yet the brief years 

of Og.. -liounty's existence have witnessed more 
progress in mechanical invention, more additions 
to the comforts of life, more advancement In 
commerce, in government, in knowledge, than 
ever before in a like period of time. The one 
matter of transportation illustrates this. Since 
the time when the word county itself came into 
the English language, just after the Norman 
Conquest, no invention, barring that of printing 
alone, can compare in its beneficent influence 
upon civilization with the transportation 
methods of the modern world, whose blessings 
to mankind, in the opinion of Macaulay, have 
not been equaled by any of the achievements 
of genius since the Phoenicians invented the al- 
phabet. Modern transiMrtation is co-extensive 
in its rise and progress with the growth of Ogle 
County, tlie steamboat coming into general use 
a little before and the steam-car a little after 
1837. The same is true of so many other in- 
ventions and discoveries which have made for 
man's advancement and happiness, that one feels 
that, whereas, in the matter of location Ogle 
County is included in one of the fertile anfl 
beautiful spots of earth, in point of time her 
career thus far happens to cover seventy of the 
choice years of history. 

Recapitulating, the evolution of Ogle County, 
briefly stated, is as follows: From the time 
when the memory of man runneth not to the 

contrary to 1673, a part of the country of the 
mini, or Illinois Indians; from 1673 to 1763, 
inchided in New France, being first attached lo 
Canada and later to Louisiana ; from 1763 to 
1778, part of the Illinois Country of the British, 
transferred to them by the Treaty of Paris, after 
the defeat of Montcalm on the Plains of Abra- 
ham ; from 1778 to 1784, an outpost of Virginia, 
through conquest by George Rogers Clark, and 
organized by the House of Burgesses as Illinois 
County; from 1784 to ISOl, part of the Territory 
of the Northwest of the United States; from 
1801 to 1809, part of St. Clair County of In- 
diana Territory ; from 1809 to 1812, part of St. 
Clair County of Illinois Territory; from 1812 to 
181.5, part of Madison County of Illinois Terri- 
tory ; from 1815 to 1816, part of Madison and 
Edwards Counties of Illinois Territory; from 
1810 to 1817, part of Madison and Craw- 
ford Counties of Illinois Territory; from 1817 
to 1818, part of Madison, Bond and Crawford 
Counties of Illinois Territory ; from 1818 lo 
1810, part of Madi.son, Bond and Crawford 
Counties of the State of Illinois; from 1810 to 
1821. part of Madison, Bond and Clark Counties, 
from 1821 to 1823. part of Pike County; from 
1823 to 1825, part of Fulton Coimty ; from 1825 
to 1827. part of Putnam County; from 1827 to 
1831. part of Putnam and Jo Daviess Counties; 
from 1831 to 1836, part of Jo Daviess and La 
Salle Counties ; in 1836 given separate organi- 
zation, but made to include what is now Lee 
County; and in 1830 allotted its present Iwuud- 

The census of 1900 gave the population of 
Ogle County as then being 29.129 and of Illi- 
nois, 4.821,550. The population of the county 
now numbers over 30.000. and of the State be- 
tween o.ono.noo and 6.000.000. 








In 1818 the Territorial Legislature in session 
at Kaskaskia sent through Nathaniel Pope, then 
Delegate from Illinois Territory, a petition ad- 
dressed to Congress, praying for the admission 
of Illinois into the Union as a State. A bill 
was reported out of committee granting the 
prayer of the petitioners, naming 60.000 as the 
population required for admission and reciting 
the northern boundary to be a line running east 
and west through the southern extremity of 
Lake Michigan, in accordance with a provision 
of the Ordinance of ITS". Then, when the House 
was in Committee of the Whole. Delegate Pope 
moved two amendments, one reducing to 40,000 
the required population, and the other locating 
the northern boundary on latitude 42° 30' in- 
stead of 41° 37'. Both were unanimously 
adopted. The effec-t of the latter, it has been 
claimed, was to move the northern boundary of 
Illinois 01 miles farther north and to take 
away from Wisconsin and add to Illinois a strip 
of land having an area of 8,500 square miles, 
which has since been formed into the fourteen 
counties of Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, 
Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll, Ogle. Du Page, 
Xvane. Cook, Whiteside, Lee, DeKalb, besides 
furnishing a part of the northern portion of 
Will, Kendal], La Salle, and Rock Island Coun- 

Speaking to his amendment, Delegate Pope 
advocated the change because it would "give 
to the State territorial jurisdiction over the 
southern shores of Lake Michigan," which would 
"unite the incipient commonwealth to the States 
of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York 
in a bond of common interest well nigh indis- 
soluble." "By the adoption of such a line," said 
he, "Illinois may become at some future time 
the keystone to the perpetuity of the Union." 
This was remarkable foresight. Perhaps no 
greater prophetic look into a nation's political 
future is recorded in history, certainly not in 
American history. Forty-three years later the 
prophecy was fulfilled, and its fulfillment was 
of tremendous national import. Had Illinois 
gone with the South, what of the Union? 
Would the Decatur Convention have been called? 
Would Abraham Lincoln have been President? 
Would there have been an Illinois-Michigan 

Canal? An Illinois Central Railway? Or where 
would have been the city of Chicago? — or the 
Sanitary Canal? — or the scheme for a deep 
water-way from the Lakes to the Gulf? 

Examined in the light of the Ordinance of 
1787, which was "a solemn compact" between 
Congress and the people of the Northwest Terri- 
tory regarding all matters included in its pro- 
visions, it is impossible for the writer to avoid 
the conclusion that there was a palpable viola- 
tion of the supreme law. The Ordinance makes 
Canada the northern boundary of Illinois, In- 
diana and Ohio Territories, as they were after- 
wards created out of the "Territory Northwest 
of the River Ohio," and then says : "Provided, 
however, and it is further understood and de- 
clared, that the boundaries of these three States 
shall be subject so far to be altered, that if 
Congress shall hereafter find it expedient, they 
shall have authority to form one or two States 
in that part of the said territory which lies 
north of an east and west line drawn through 
the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michi- 
gan." That is to say, if Canada did not remain 
the northern boundary of Illinois, then that 
boundary should be a line running east and west 
through the southern end of Lake Michigan ; 
the same for Indiana ; in order that one or two 
States might be organized out of the territory 
left north of such a line. There might, or might 
not, be a territory, and later a State, of Wis- 
consin, according as Congress would deem it ex- 
pedient to let such region remain a part of Illi- 
nois, or to organize it separately ; but if there 
were, its southern boundary should be a line 
drawn through the southern end of Lake Michi- 
gan, to-wit, parallel 41° 37'. To say, as does 
Governor Ford in his "History of Illinois," that 
the Ordinance declared that Congress might or- 
ganize one or tn-o states in the territory north 
nf parallel 41" 37'. but not necessarily of it, is 
to incorporate into a common English sentence 
a precision of thought probably never dreamed 
of by the framers of it, and. doubtless, wholly 
outside of their intention. 

When, upon the admission of Ohio, the change 
in its boundary w.-is made, slight compared with 
that of Illinois— Congress proposed to arbitrate 
the matter with the people of Michigan Terri- 
tory, from whom the six-mile wide strip was 
taken, by offering them the upper peninsula, 
upon which proposition the people voted, first 
rejecting and afterward accepting it. In the 

(^ Ct-t^X^CAJ 




case of Illinois, Wisconsin's consent was not 
asked, notwithstanding, that in section 14 of 
the preamble of the Ordinance, it is solemnly de- 
clared : "The following articles shall be con- 
sidered as articles of compact between the 
■original States and the people and states in 
said territory, and forever remain unalterable, 
unless ly comm-on consent." 

It was to be expected, therefore, that the peo- 
ple of Wisconsin, feeling dissatisfied at so con- 
siderable a loss of territory in such a manner, 
should be heard from. In 1838, the Legislature 
of that Territory memorialized (Congress to the 
effect that the act of 1818 came "directly in 
collision with and was repugnant to the compact 
entered into by the original States with people 
and States within this Northwestern Territory." 
A year later, when a vote was called for upon 
a question of forming a State Constitution, thi' 
people of the district within Northern Illinois 
claimed by Wisconsin were inyited (by the au- 
thorities of Wisconsin) also to cast their votes. 

This caused widespread Interest in the dis- 
puted territory. There were public meetings 
at Galena, Belvidere, Rockford and Dixon. 
Later, a convention was held at Rockford, at 
which were present delegates from Ogle, White- 
side, Carroll, Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winne- 
bago, Boone, Rock Island and McHenry Coun- 
ties. Hamilton Norton, of Ogle County, was 
secretary. The delegates formally declared that, 
in their opinion, the fourteen counties belonged 
of right to "Wi.scousin," and asked that repre- 
sentatives be elected by the different counties 
to attend the convention at Madison, there to 
continue the effort "for an early adjustment of 
the southern boundary." It happened that, in 
Wisconsin, the matter was coupled with the 
question of forming a State constitution, and as 
public sentiment was against that, nothing was 
done as to the boundary. But the question 
would not down. On January 22, 1842, at a 
meeting held at Oregon, by the citizens of Ogle 
County, to consider "the expediency of advising 
and effecting a separation of this section of the 
State from the State of Illinois and annexing 
the same to Wisconsin," the President whs 
Colonel Brown, the secretary, Joseph B. Heu- 
shaw, and Committee on Resolutions, S. N. 
Sample, W. W. Fuller. D. T. Moss. J. Swan, 
and E. A. Hurd, while James V. Gale, E. S. 
Leland and Joseph B. Henshaw constituted a 
Central Committee. The resolutions committee 

reported at length and, among other things, de- 
clared, "That in the opinion of this meeting, 
that part of the Northwestern Territory which 
lies north of an 'east and west line through 
the southerly bend, or extremity, of Lake Michi- 
gan, belongs to, and of right aught to be, a part 
of the State, or States, which have been, or may 
be formed, north of said line." W. W. Fuller 
Dauphin Brown, Joseph B. Henshaw, Jehiel 
Day, James Swan, Spooner Ruggles, Samuel 
M. Hitt, Henry Hiestand and Augustus Austin 
were appointed delegates to "proceed to Madi- 
son, in the Territory of Wisconsin, with full 
power to consult with the Governor and Legis- 
lature, or either of them, and to take such 
measures as, in their opinion, will most speedily 
and effectually obtain the object of this meet- 
ing." This committee reported at another meet- 
ing at Oregon. February 20, ,1842, that they had 
promises from Governor Doty and the Territorial 
Legislature of Wisconsin of hearty assistance 
in the common cause. 

On March 5, 1842, an election was held, at 
the call of Stephenson County, throughout the 
fourteen counties, to gauge the sentiment of 
the people upon the issue. Four hundred and 
sixty-nine votes were east in favor of the dis- 
puted territory being a part of Wisconsin, while 
only one vote was cast against the proposal. 
But the votere of Wisconsin were by this time, 
at least, themselves indifferent. They viewed 
the agitation "with concern and regret." 
Finally, when the convention was in session 
framing the constitution for the new State of 
Wisconsin, an effort was made to refer all 
boundary disputes to the Federal Supreme 
Court. That tailed. The territory of Wiscon- 
sin was admitted .as a State with the northern 
boundary of Illinois and the southern boundary 
of Wisconsin remaining at parallel 42- ."O'.i 

n Ihe act enahun.s tlio people 
a State Constitution pi-epara- 
to the Union was passed by Con- 
of Wisconsin was not in exist- 

ttstead of 41° 37' ). as 

iir,dai-y of t^e proposed new State. 

■ -Mstance between tbe parallel 41° 30' 

.wliicli was finally adopted as tbe nortli- 

y ut the State) was 51 geosvaphical 

'milesK equivalent approximately to 60 

5. It is a tact of some sisniflcance that 

ifications were made in the houndary 

<■' . Slates of Ohio and Indiana, on the 

I \li<lnsan nil the other, although the 

involved in tlio controversy Iwtween 

iiiiich smalli'i- than that in issue 

i.u- ;ind Wisconsin. After the failure 

V aclion in the part of Congress or tbe 

rt. un the subject in controversy between 


It was said that the explanation of the in- 
difference ot Wisconsin was, in part at least, 
the jealousy of her politicians towards addi- 
tional competitors. That is less surprising, per- 
haps, than was the desire on the part of a ma- 
jority of the citizens of the Illinois counties 
to be set over to Wisconsin, for the reason, as 
alleged, that the heavy indebtedness incurred by 
Illinois when the wave of internal improvements 
swept over the State would, sooner or later, 
make taxes high. 




"I saw a dot upon the map, and a hou>:efly's 

filmy wing — 
They said 'twas Dearborn's picket flag, when 
Wilderness was King." 

— Benjamin F. Taylor. 

The pioneers who settled Ogle County had few 
of the common conveniences of life of to-day, 
and no luxuries, while some things enjoyed as 
luxuries in the old eastern homes could not be 
had at any price in the new West. 

There were no railroads, no wagon roads, 
only trails. There was the stage-coach, but 
there were few carriages. A carriage brought 
from Maryland by one of the pioneer families 
was a curiosity. The usual means of private 
conveyance, aside from horseback, was by the 
farm wagon, which had wooden spindles. Some- 
Illinois and Wisconsin, the action of the Constitu- 
tional Convention of the latter in 1847-48. in framins 
its first constitution, in recognizinK the parallel of 4?." 
30', named in the enabling act of Illinois in 1818. as 
the southern boundary of Wisconsin, and the acceptance 
bv Michigan of a similar modification as to the terri- 
tory north of a line drawn through the southern 
bend of Lake Michigan and parts of the States 
of Ohio and Indiana, amounted to a practical solution 
of the question "by common 

times the wheels consisted of solid cross sections 
of a big tree without tires, when the name ap- 
plied was "the barefooted wagon." There were 
no telegraphs and no telephones, no mowing ma- 
chines, no reapers, no corn cultivators, no sew- 
ing machines, no oil lamps, no coal stoves, no 
steel pens, no lead pencils, no window or door 
screens, no steel plows, no traction engines, no 
threshing machines, no rubber boots or shoes, 
no alarm clocks, no breech-loading guns, no can- 
ned fruit, no laundry soap, no carpet-sweepers, 
no yeast cakes, no baking powder, no laundry 
starch, no clothespins, no friction matches, few 
of the things deemed necessary to-day. Yet the 
pioneers managed to live without them, and en- 
joyed life. The wives of the pioneers "clothed 
their families." like the women of the Proverbs, 
"with the work of their hands." 

The settlement of Ogle County, then a part of 
.10 Daviess County, was brought about by the 
lead-mining industry at Galena. The Galena 
lead mines were known as early as 1700. From 
1823 they developed rapidly and in 1827 county 
organization was effected. Travel from the older 
parts of the State, the central and southern, 
with Vandalia as the capital, followed a trail 
which crossed Rock River at Ogee's Ferry, after 
18.30 Dixon's Ferry, and led through the west- 
ern portion of the present limits of Ogle County. 
In 1829 John Ankeny staked a claim at Buffalo 
Grove. Returning from Galena in 1830, he 
found Isaac Chambers located on a claim that 
overlapped his of the year before. They ad- 
justed their differences, and Isaac Chambers 
continued to occupy his log cabin, the first built 
in the county. 

In 1833. John Phelps of Schuyler County and 
formerly of Tennessee, after spending the sum- 
mer at the lead mines at Galena, and having 
been attracted in the fall of 1820 by the beauty 
of Rock River Valley, decided to explore the 
region with a view to making a permanent home 
if he found a location to please him. He se- 
lected, after many leagues of travel through 
the well nigh pathless counti'y, and upon the 
advice of Col. William Hamilton, sou of Alex- 
ander Hamilton, who was leading a surveying; 
party along Rock River for the Federal Govern- 
ment, a spot three miles west of the river, where 
there was a spring. The place was known for 
many years as the Phelps Farm, now the Major 
Newcomer Farm, situated equally distant from 



Oregon and Mount Morris, and containiug now 
300 acres. 

In his later days, Mr. Ptielps wrote an auto- 
biography, the manuscript of which remains in 
the family of his descendants. In this he tells 
entertainingly of his trip, in company with a 
Frenchman, and of his meeting Col. Hamilton, 
mentioned above in the vicinity of where the 
city of Oregon now stands. 

In 1834, Leonard Andrus went up Rock River 
from Dixon's Ferry in a canoe paddled by In- 
dians. There were no settlers and Mr. Andrus 
made claim to the laud upon which the village 
of Grand Detour now stands, influenced by the 
fertility of the land and the water power. 

The above were the three earliest settlements 
in the county. In the cases of Phelps and An- 
drus, the families were not on the claims until 
a year or so later, at which time other pioneers 
were coming in at various other places, over this 
southern end of Jo Daviess County, and by the 
time the years 1836-40 passed, the smoke from 
the cabins of the first families of the new Ogle 
County could be seen in many directions. The 
names of the households of those early days 
included that of Kellog, Reed, Bush, Brooke, 
Doty, Sanford. Stephenson, Shoemaker, Webster, 
Hull, Merritt. Waterbury, Shaver, Walmsley, 
Cushman, Beardsley, Worden, Nichols. Bogue, 
Wilcoxen, Fellows, Hoffhiue, Gannon, Donelson, 
Good. Sanborn. Phelps, Moss. Mix. Shepard, 
Campbell, Woodburn, Maynard, Juvenal, Spald- 
ing, Norton, Hurd, Kimball, Carr, Patrick, 
Smith, Wood. Knowlton. Bradbury. Brewster, 
Mclntyre, Irvine, Brodie, Grant, Crary, Noe, 
Cochrane, Randall, Bartholomew, Flagg, Leon- 
ard, Andrus. House. Weatherby. Green, Bos- 
worth. Dana, Warren, Deere, Cushing, Hatha- 
way, Henry, Day, Palmer. Chamberlain. HubbelJ, 
Bass. Gardener. Goodrich. Harrington. Anthony. 
Crombie, Clark, White, Rosecrans, Jenkins, 
Aiken, Royce, Hunter, Holden, Gaffin, Light, 
Heaston, Kitzmiller, Piper, Trine, Ryder, Myers, 
Turner, Mitchell, Andrews, Scott, Whittaker, 
York, Bryan, Snow, Brown, Eyler, Blair, Mc- 
Lain, Fossler, Oliver, Hitt, Swingley, Wagner, 
Rice, McDannel. Stover, Finkboner, House- 
holder, Crowell, Reynolds, Wertz. Wallace. Al- 
len, Spreeher, Miller, Artz, Brantner, Sharer. 
Coffman, Nally, McCo.v, Hiestand, Roe, Will- 
iamson, Peabody. Bemis, Farwell, Dort, Car- 
penter, Hatch, Paddock. Hills. Richardson, Mo- 
Kenney, Stiles, Jackson, Key, Wood, Moore, Gale, 

Hill, Bond. Ford, Everett, Mudd, Spencer, 
Fuller, Wooley, Roberts, Pickett, Harris, Ray, 
Leland, Evarts, Griffith, Etnyre, Mumma, 
Painter, Ruggles, Joiner, Paul, Baker, Perrine, 
Hagan, Seyster, Walkup, Alexander, Wilbur, 
Haas, Bridge, Morgan, Stevenson, Paine, Her, 
Stinson, Maxwell, Taylor, Trask, Russell, San- 
derson, Friedly, Griswold, Knox, Read, Waite, 
Marshall, James, Gitchell, Medford, Lucas, 
Chaney, I-Iays, Young. Gaston. Wellington, Gees. 

The groves were first chosen by the pioneers 
for several reasons. Timber was needed for 
building and for fuel, the more rolling wood- 
land contained springs, which in the days before 
windmills, were preferred to wells, the prairie 
seemed most like a meadow, useful for a pasture 
rather than for crops, and finally, the pioneers 
having come from wooded regions, it was but 
natural that they should choose similar sur- 

The pioneers came here either overland by 
wagon, on horseback, or by wagon to Pittsburg, 
then down the Ohio River and up the Illinois 
to Peru, thence by stage the remainder of the 
way. At times and in places the prairie trail 
was fairly good, and moderate progress could be 
made, only to be checked by encountering a 
slough, or by having to ford a stream, where 
sometimes the strong current carried horses and 
wagon far below the expected landing into 
deeper water and softer mud. The resulting 
delay would sometimes prevent the next stop- 
ping place being reached that day. when the 
night would have to be spent on the prairie, 
sleeping in or under the wagon. William Cullen 
Bryant, the noted editor and poet, made a visit 
in 1846. to his mother and brothers at Prince- 
ton. 111. Narrating his stage-coach experien,-'e 
of Illinois roads in rainy weather, he says : "A 
little before sunset, we were about to cross the 
Illinois canal. High water had carried away 
the bridge, and in attempting to ford, the coach 
wheels on one side rose upon some stones, and 
on the other side sank into the mud, and we 
were overturned in an instant. We extricated 
ourselves as well as we could. The men waded 
out: the women were carried, and noliody was 
drowned or hurt. A passing farm wagon con- 
veyed the female passengers to the next farm 
house. To get out the baggage and set the 
coach on its wheels, we all had to stand w.qist 
deep in the mud. At nine we reached the hos- 



pitable farm house where we passed the night 
in drying ourselves and getting our baggage 
ready to proceed the next day." 

Horseback riding was, perhaps, the most satis- 
factory mode of travel. Better was 
made that way with less interruption and vexa- 
tion. For long distances two persons would some- 
times use the same horse, not pillion fashion as 
in the Eastern States, but by the method known 
as "ride and tie." one riding ahead several miles, 
then tying the horse for the other to use when 
he would come up, and himself walking on until 
after being passed by his companion, he should 
later find the horse tied for his own use again. 

Supplies were obtained and a market found 
at Ottawa or Chicago, each place a mere village 
then, but even at that time a distributing point. 
To take a load of wheat, or dressed pork, to 
Chicago meant a journey of a week or more 
whether by ox-team or horses. Wheat was 
marketed usually in September, or October, 
when the fall rains had so extended the area tf 
the wet land that to go around all the sloughs 
was impossible. Sometimes each sack of grain 
had to be taken from the wagon and carried 
ahead to drier and firmer ground, and then the 
lightened wagon drawn forward and the load 
replaced. Sometimes a sort of improvised "cor- 
duroy" road was constructed by pulling up the 
dried pr.iirie grass, twisting it into ropes and 
fastening it around the tires, thus preventing 
the wheels from sinking into the mud as they 
would have done without this protection. 

There were stage routes over which the stage 
coach made regular .lourneys. The roads were 
laid out by commissioners appointed by the Gen- 
eral Assembly, and hence became known as state 
roads, over which the mail was carried. One 
such route, starting at Chicago, went by way of 
St. Charles to Sycamore, thence to Oregon, 
crossing Rock River at Phelp's Ferry, thence, 
via Liberty Hill to Mount Morris, to Polo, and 
from there to Galena, the objective point 
Another was from Peru to Dixon, 60 miles ; to 
Polo, 13 miles; to Galena, 50 miles. This was 
laid out in 1825 by an early settler, Kellog, and 
was long known as Kellog's Trail. It erosse(! 
Marshall, Bureau, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, and 
Jo Daviess Counties, and was the overland 
route between Peoria and Galena. Long after 
the appearance of white settlers, the prairies 
were criss-crossed by Indian trails. The Indian*; 
marched in single file, and thus made a well- 

marked, narrow path, which by repeated use 
became worn into the soil, and as the red men 
knew the country well these trails avoided the 
rivers as much as possible and crossed them at 
easy fords. The white settlers adopted the In- 
dian trails, and many of the State roads and 
stage routes were the former Indian trails con- 
verted into a track for wheels. Parts of some 
of them are still in use, for instance the highway 
via Liberty Hill from Mount Morris to Oregon, 
which does not follow the lines of the Govern- 
ment survey, but intersects them. 

The stage coach in good weather and by re- 
lays of horses made CO to 75 miles a day, and 
the travel, while slow, was in some respects de- 
lightful. In times of mud, however, all pleasure 
vanished and nearly all progress. "Stuck in 
the mud" was a common occurrence, and the 
passengers were then sometimes compelled to 
alight when far out on the prairie, and assist 
in the work of recovering the wheels from the 
depths into which they had sunken. It is well- 
nigh impossible to realize such unsatisfactory 
travel to-day, when in a handsome well-ap- 
pointed, and luxurious railway car we speed 
over the prairie and across rivers in all seasons 
of the year at the rate of 35 to 50 miles per 
hour, and for no more cost per passenger than 
was paid in the 'thirties and 'forties for the 
slow, uncertain, and tiring travel by stage. 

The slow mails were among the trials which 
the pioneers and their families were called upon 
to endure. Perhaps nothing was harder after 
leaving home and friends than the long weeks of 
waiting to hear of loved ones left behind and 
their life at the old familiar places. In these 
days of 18-hour trains between New York and 
Chicago, it is diflicult to comprehend the slow- 
ness of the mail service by boat and stage. 
When to the lonelines of crude and isolated sur- 
roundings in a strange land, there was added 
the ordeal of no news from former scenes, it 
is no wonder there was homesickness. Postage 
was more of a consideration then than now. To 
the East it was 25 cents ; to Dayton, Ohio, 18% 
cents ; to St. Louis, 6% cents. There were no 
envelopes. The sheet was folded, fastened with 
an individual seal, or a common wax wafer, and 
then addressed. 

The women of the pioneer households in Ogle 
County followed a round of duties that inr 
eluded much laborious work, long since given 
over to outside agencies, by means of which 



the wives and daughters of to-day are relieved 
of a great deal of drudgery. The log house was 
usually 16 by 18 or 20 feet in size, and con- 
sisted of one room with a large open fire-place 
at one end, with the crane and Dutch oven. The 
latter was a covered pan, in the use of which 
for baking, coals were placed above as well as 
below. About 1840 the "ten-plate" stove came 
into use, and later the cooli-stove. Neither was 
received with universal favor. 

The second floor of the cabin was a low loft, 
which was reached usually by means of a lad- 
der ; sometimes by a narrow open stairway. 
This was the sleeping room for all the family. 
The ventilation was perfect, the air being ad- 
mitted freely between the logs and clapboards. 
The beds were often of rude construction, some- 
times having but one post, the three other cor- 
ners being made by inserting nails in holes 
bored in the walls. The light was from a home- 
made tallow candle. The settler's wife leached 
lye, which, by the addition of fragments of 
animal fat, she made into soap ; transformed 
flour, or potatoes, into clear starch ; dried corn 
and fruits for the long winter's needs ; ground 
the coffee for daily use in a hand-mill ; spun 
wool into yarn, which she linit into mittens and 
stockings, and cut and fashioned most of the 
garments of her household. 

The prices of dry-goods and groceries are 
shown by some of the old day-books : calico, 12 
to 35 cents ; muslin, 15 cents ; tea, $1.12 ; nails, 
12 cents; tin cup, 20 cents; tin bucket, $1.00; 
coffee, 12 cents ; paper of pins, 18 cents ; whiskey, 
50 cents per gallon. In 1826 in McLean County, 
Robert Guthrie husked corn for Isaac Funk for 
tifty cents per day. In 1844 in Rockvale Town- 
ship, an account kept by William Artz shows 
one day's ploughing at 87 cents ; one day's draw- 
ing wheat with team. .$1.25; one day's thresh- 
ing, 50 cents. 

In the early 'forties Manassas Neikirk of 
West Elkhorn Grove, erected what was then 
deemed the largest and best barn in this part 
of the State. The carpenters were Miles Z. 
Landon and Justice Rogers. That barn is still 
standing and, for good substantial workmanship, 
but few if any modern barns surpass it. A 
few years later Mr. Neikirk engaged Ellas Et- 
nyre of Oregon, 111., to erect a house. There 
were no machine-made sash, doors and mould- 
ings then, but everything connected with the 
building was hand-made, and much of that work 

is as good to-day in appearance as it was sixty 
years ago. The house has been enlarged and re- 
modeled, but all the cornice, including crown 
and bed moulding that had been used in the old 
hous» was worked over into the new one, and 
this made it necessary to make more mouldings 
to match the old in order to complete the work. 

The flooring in the Neikirk house was all 
seasoned white-oak and ash, and it required 
many days, with two men on the match planes, 
to do the work. The shingles were made of 
red-oak, split with a frow and shaved with a 
drawing knife. The lath was made of half-inch 
basswood boards split into narrow strips and 
fastened to the studding with cut nails. The 
plates of the house were 8x8 inches, and the 
rafters were "bear-mouthed" into them in a 
way that required no spikes to hold them in 
place. The tenons were dove-tailed on one 
side, while a wedge made to fit the mortise was 
driven above the tenon and pinned in place with 
an inch oak-pin completed the dove-tail. All 
studding had to be mortised into sills, beams, 
■girts and plates, and then oftentimes fastened 
by pins. 

Fine white flour was made at the grist-mill on 
Pine Creek, out of the winter wheat so produc- 
tive at that time. The flour was so fine and 
white, that crumbs of the bread made out of it 
were sent in a letter to friends at Shepherdstown, 
Va. The bread was baked in a Dutch oven and 
in ten-plate stove ; corn-cakes were baked on 
top of the stove, while bricks were placed inside, 
behind the firebox or shelf to bake on. The 
Dutch oven had to be kept turned around be- 
fore the hearth-fire, so as to bake the loaf on all 
sides. In 1S46 one of the first stovepipes used 
In Ogle County was bought in Grand Detour 
and was lost in driving home across the prairie 
after dark. Daysville was a business center in 
those days to which the people from Oregon then 
came to do their shopping. 

A settler in the west end of the county, who 
was invited to attend the wedding of a frientf 
soon after coming here in 1855. gives a graphic 
account of the occasion, which shows the customs 
of events at that time : The bride-to-be 
and attendants were waiting in the attic the time 
for the ceremony when the guest arrived. With 
his friend, he climbed the ladder to this 
.second floor to be introduced to the young man's 
betrothed, as she was unknown to him at that 
time. He found her to be most attractive, and 



knows her still ;is a bright, capable woman, 
though no longer Kving in Ogle Count}-. From 
the windows of the attic the wedding party 
could watch the arrival of the guests, coming 
from all around the neighborhood in great lum- 
ber wagons, the boxes of which were luxuriously 
cushioned with bunches of hay for seats. These 
vehicles were drawn by sleek, well-trained oxen. 
Sounds of merriment and shouts of laughter 
floated out over the prairie as they approached 
the house. When every one had been made wel- 
come in the cheery room of the first floor, the 
wedding part}' descended to this room and the 
solemn ceremony was performed. Then fol- 
lowed, as now, the congratulations and good- 
wishes ; after that, the feast. — and such a 
feast as had made the hungry Ichabod's mouth 
water as he looked upon "the hearty abundance" 
of the "thriving, contented, liberal-minded" Old 
Baltus Van Tassel! Here, too, on the table 
were the delicious lamb and young pig roasted 
whole, and all the accompanying "good things" 
which the thrifty pioneer housewife knew so 
well how to prepare ! When all was ended and 
the young couple drove away to their own new 
home, good-luck wishes and the proverbial "old 
shoe" were sent after them, much as now-a-days, 
so long do old customs remain. 

The first Methodist Camp Meeting was held 
at Lighthouse in 1839, continuing over two Sun- 
days. The ministers in those days, always hon- 
ored with the best, were provided with board 
tents made of oak slabs from the saw-mill at 
Washington Grove. Afterward the Camp Meet- 
ing at Franklin Grove, still in existence, was 
established, and the one at Lighthouse was no 
longer held. Quarterly Meeting was often held 
at "Old Chapel," between Lafayette and Wash- 
ington Groves, and people came from as far as 
Rockford and Dixon to attend. People came 
long distances and across the prairies in lum- 
ber wagons, and often seated upon chairs. 
Preachings were held at Phelps School House, 
and singing school at Silver Creek School. 
The Motters and the Felkers owned barouches, 
and they were the subject of much envy when 
they paid visits to their friends. 

Mr. Henry A. Neff, who has left some very 
musical descendants now living in the county, 
was a singing school teacher. The father of 
Emma Abbott taught singing in different parts 
of the county. Prizes were given in singing con- 
tests, much like in the spelling schools, and both 

the singing and the spelling contests were very 
popular. Writing schools, of evenings, were also 
among the recreations. A writing teacher, l)y 
the name of Burton, is remembered as one of 
these old-time teachers of penmanship at the 
Lighthouse School. 

Quilting parties afforded another amusement. 
In warm weather, as there was but one room, 
the meal was eaten out-of-doors ; then, in the 
evening there would be a merry dance, Including 
the Virginia Reel, Crooked "S," and other fig- 
ures in which the dancers stand In long rows, 
opposite and facing each other. There were no 
round dances then; the "cotillion" (quadrille) 
was in vogue in the towns. Moore's Hotel, at 
Oregon, was a favorite place for dancing. The 
hospitable home of Samuel Betebenner, between 
Mount Morris and Polo, was likewise a gath- 
ering center for the young folks. "Uncle Billy" 
Swingley, "Will Cooper," "Billy" Bennett, J. D. 
C. Artz were among those who fiddled for the 
merry-makers. W. W. Bennett's tuneful muse 
recalls some of these youthful gaieties in "Ogle 
County Reminiscences" : 

" 'Tis nearly forty years ago 
Since we fiddled, I and Joe, 
Way back in fifty-three. 

"We'd sometimes play at dance or ball. 
When we would get a man to call 
At Daysville or at Byron. 
T'he 'Opera Reel' or 'Monie Musk' 
We used to play at some corn-husk. 
When the fun began at early dusk 

(There were Shanghais in the oven.) 

"Ben Hammer used to swing the bow. 
While spry George Avey tipped the toe. 

In Betebenner's kitchen ; 
While Dave, and Ben, and Nehemiah, 
And all the girls that we'd admire 
Sat around the rousing hickory fire. 

And smiled bewitchin'. 

"Then clear the tables and the chairs ; 
Put some out doors and some upstairs, 

For more room was needed 
To balance partners : now, first four. 
Swing down the center to the door. 
And turn your partners all once more. 

Was how the fun proceeded. 



"And when the supper we could smell, 
Its fragrance, more than I can tell. 

Set us to thinking 
We'd have a supper most divine, 
None ever since so nice and fine 
Can equal those of 'auld lang syne,' 

When cups were clinking. 

"And girls were there with eyes so bright. 
No stars were brighter in the night. 

That shone o'erhead. 
Their cheeks with health were all aglow. 
Their teeth as white as winter's snow. 
Their eyes would haunt a fellow so, 

I've heard it said." 




"When we've wood and prairie land 
Won by our toil. 
We'll reign like kings in fairy-land. 
Lords of the soil." 


When the first deed to land in Illinois was 
made no surveyor's nomenclature, or figures, en- 
tered into the description. No surveyor had then 
ever set up his tripod or stretched his chain 
over a foot of Illinois soil. A deed founded on 
a survey means a division of land to a mathe- 
matical nicety. But what was an acre more or 
less, or even a square mile, when the land con- 
veyed was the whole of the Illinois Country at 
a time when the value was approximately four 
cents a square mile. Those were opulent days 
in land transfers — at least as to land area. The 
time of the first Illinois deed was 169.3. The 
grantor was Francis De la, the grantee. 
Mickel Akau, the friend of Tonti, the Lieutenant 
and partner of La Salle ; and the interest con- 
ve.ved was the undivided one-quarter of Illinois. 

while the consideration was 6,000 livres of 
beaver, or $1,200 worth of beaver pelts. The 
manuscript of this interesting document is in 
the possession of the Chicago Historical Society, 
to whose kindness the writer owes the oppor- 
tunity of giving the following copy, the first, he 
believes, to be published ; 

"The year one thousand six hundred ninety- 
three, the nineteenth of April, I, Francois De 
la Forest, captain on the retired list in the marine 
service, seignior of part of all the country of 
Louisiana, otherwise Illinois, granted to Mon- 
sieur de Tonty and to me by the King to enjoy 
in perpetuity, we, our heirs, successors and as- 
signs, the same as it vi-as recognized by the act 
of the Sovereign Council of Quebec, in the month 
of August, of the year, 1691, the said Council 
assembled ; declare in the presence of the under- 
signed witnesses that I' have ceded, sold and 
transferred to Mr. Michel Acau, the half of my 
part of the above described concession, to en- 
joy the same like myself from the present time 
to him. his heirs, successors and assigns, with 
the same rights, privileges, prerogatives and 
benefits which have heretofore been accorded to 
the late Monsieur de La Salle, as appear particu- 
larly in the decree of the Council of the King ; 
and in consideration of the sum of 6,000 livres 
in current t>eaver, which the said Mr. Acau shall 
pay me at Chicago, where I stay : and uixjn the 
making of the payment down I cannot demand 
from him any advantage, neither for the carriage 
of the said beaver to Montreal, nor for the risk : 
and as there is no notary here before whom to 
pass an instrument of sale, I bind fnyseir ar 
the first occasion to send him one, as also a 
copy compared before a notary of the above men- 
tioned decree of which we have both signed the 
said contract of sale, the one and the other, 
the day and year as above ; and in case that one 
of us two would di-spose of his part, the remain- 
ing one shall be the first preferred, and this is 
mutual between Monsieur de Tonty and me. 

Made in duplicate the day and year aforesaid. 
"M. ACQ. 
"De La Descouvertes. 

Nicholas Laurens de la Chapelle. 

The above is endorsed : "Bill of Sale, between 
Mr. Ako and me, conveying the land of the 



In the Eastern States the system of land meas- 
urements is that known as "Metes and Bounds." 
The beginning or end of any distance is a natural 
monument, as a tree "blazed,"' that is, given a 
white mark by cutting away the bark, the better 
to know it ; or an artificial monument, as a stone 
planted at a point designated by the surveyor. 
These measures, or metes and limits, or bounds, 
when set out in surveying nomenclature, make 
up the description of the particular trac-t of 
land. Such descriptions are likely to be long, 
involved and tedious. The writer recalls the 
surveyor's description of his grandfather's farm 
of 222 acres, the original letters patent being on 
parchment, and t>eariug the signature of the sons 
of William Penu, and, besides being archaic in 
form and quaint in appearance, being as diflSeult 
to follow as if it had been intended for a laby- 
rinthine puzzle. It was found that in cities laid 
out at right angles and according to the points 
of the compass, places were more easily located 
and the way to them more readily followed than 
when the plat was irregular. This may have sug- 
gested the rectangular plan for the division of 
the new lands of the West. 

In 1785, the Continental Congress adopted for 
the survey of the public lauds of the Northwest 
Territory, what became knoM\Ti as the "rectangu- 
lar system," which was devised by Thomas 
Hutchins, the first Government Surveyor, or 
Geographer, as he was then called, who, in the 
French and Indian War, served under Colonel 
Bouquet as Assistant Engineer. During the 
War of the Revolution his sympathies were with 
the colonists and, while stationed at Fort Char- 
tres, Illinois Territory, he resigned from the 
English forces. In 1779, while in London, he 
was accused of treasonable correspondence with 
Franklin, and was imprisoned in the Tower, but 
escaped and returned to America. 

Congress modified the law of 1785 by the act 
of 179G, which is still in force. Under it all 
public lands are divided into townships six miles 
tquare. Lines are drawn on true meridians and 
true parallels of latitude. First, there is es- 
tablished a principal meridian, and at right 
angles thereto, a base line conforming to a 
parallel of latitude. Twenty-four miles north 
(or south) of the base line a standard parallel 
conforming to a true parallel of latitude is es- 
tablished as a guide parallel ; also a guide me- 
ridian twenty-four miles east (or west) of the 
principal meridian, running due north and south, 

and intersecting the standard parallel at right 
angles. The rectangle thus formed is divided 
into sixteen townships, wherein the tiers of town- 
ships are numbered north and south of the base 
line, and the rows of townships, east or west of 
the principal meridian. 

The First Principal Meridian coincides with 
the boundary between Ohio and Indiana, the 
Second passes through Indiana a little west of 
the middle, and the Third, w-hich controls the 
surveys of the sis easterly townships of Ogle 
County, skirts the eastern edge of Stillman Val- 
ley; while the Fourth, which is the initial line 
for the numbering of sections for the remainder 
of the county, passes just this side of Galena. 
The Base Line for the Third Principal Meridian 
has its east end on the Wabash, a few miles 
north of Mt. Carmel, and Its west end on the 
Mississippi, a little south of Belleville; that for 
the Fourth Principal Meridian has its east end 
on the boundary line between Illinois and In- 
diana at a point five or six miles south of Dan- 
ville, while its west portion passes through 
Beardstown, and if extended would intersect the 
Mississippi five or six miles north of Quincy. 

Oregon Township is Number 23 North, Range 
10 ; which should make it 1.38 miles north of the 
Base Line and sixty miles east of the Fourth 
Principal Meridian. Each township so surveyed, 
I-:nown as a Government, or Congressional 
Township, is divided into thirty-six sections, 
each one mile square, containing (540 acres. The 
sections are numbered from 1 to 36, beginning 
at the northeast corner of the township and go- 
ing to the left to 6, then dropping to the section 
next underneath and counting to the right to 12, 
and so on. 

The rectangle from which the sixteen town- 
ships are formed is 96 miles at its southern end, 
Ijut at its northern end is a little less, because, 
since all meridians meet at the Pole, the prin- 
cipal meridian and the guide meridian will con- 
verge appreciably in the 25 miles ; on account of 
which the township will fall short of the re- 
quired 23,040 acres. This makes necessary a 
correction line for the base line for the next 
rectangle. It also counts for fractional sections, 
which, when necessary to be made, are always 
the eleven sections on the north and west of the 
township, the other twenty-five sections being 
made full. 

The surveys of the townships of Ogle County 
were made in 1S.33. Colonel William Hamilton, 



son of Alexander Hamilton, ^Yas in charge of a 
township surveying party at work several miles 
north of where Oregon now is, when John 
Phelps was exploring the region in 1833 in 
search of a suitable location for a home. Tlie 
sections were not surveyed until 1838 and later. 
The land east of the Third Principal Meridian 
was offered for sale at Galena in 1839 ; that of 
the rest of the county not until 184:3, by which 
time a land office was established at Dixon. 
Until the sections were sold and a patent ob- 
tained, the rights of the settler to the land he 
had located on and made claim to were those 
of a squatter. Such rights were nearly always 
respected. To "jump a claim" was to become a 
public enemy, especially after the formation of 
claim societies. One such was organized at Ore- 
gon with William J. Mix, president, and D. H. 
Moss, secretary. For such disputes as arose, the 
society offered settlement by arbitration. 

The nomenclature of land transactions was 
often expressively applied to other matters. If 
a young man paid marked attention to a young 
lady, he was said to have made a claim ; if it 
was understood that they were engaged, he was 
said to have made a pre-emption, and if another 
cut him out, the successful party was said to 
have "jumped his claim." 

It was expected that a man would make claim 
to no more land than he could use, or care for. 
usually a quarter-section, sometimes 500 acres 
and occasionally as many as 1,000 acres. Thomas 
Ford, just before his appointment as Judge, made 
claim to 1,000 acres three miles west of Flor- 
ence, now Oregon, where he built a log cabin 
and lived for a short time: then sold his clain^ 
to .John Fridley for $1,000, who obtained .-i 
patent for the tract by the payment of the gov- 
ernment price of $1.2.5 per acre. 

The government system of land survey has 
several advantages over the old irregular method 
of metes and bounds. By giving square cornered 
farms and fields, it lessens labor in the tillage 
of the crops, at the same time that It adds sym- 
metry to the divisions of the farm landscape ; by 
having all highways conform to the points of the 
compass and an equal distance apart, it facili- 
tates travel ; and it conduces to brevity and ac- 
curacy in the descriptious of title deeds. The 
field notes of the first surve.vors, on file at Wash- 
ington, form a complete history of the lines and 
monuments of every township and section, even 

if laps, deficiencies and other variations were 
sometimes merely recorded when it would seem 
that they should have been actually corrected, 
by means of which a surveyor going over the 
ground to-day may locate any point and deter- 
mine any distance. An error is sometimes made 
in the description of a new deed, as by writing 
"northeast quarter" for "northwest quarter," a 
mistake easily made, so easily where the descrio- 
tion repeats the words .several times that it may 
be said to constitute a weakness of the sys- 
tem. To correct such an error and perfect and 
quiet title, it is necessary to institute chancery 
proceedings and obtain a decree of court, usually 
a purely formal action, for the most part, but 
entailing some expense. 

In Novemlser, lS-t2, the Jtock River Register in 
an article setting forth the advantages of North- 
ern Illinois, the statement is made that there 
had been paid at the land office at Dixon, for 
the seventeen months between June, 1841, and 
Xovember, 1842, by the settlers hereabout, the 
sum of $280,000. This was "land office busi- 
ness," for at .$1.25 per acre 22-4,000 acres had 
been purchased. 

From the minimum government price, the land 
gradually rose in value. From 1840 to 1850, prai- 
rie land changed hands at from $1.25 to around 
$5.00, without improvements, while timber land 
sold for from $15 to $20 per acre. In 1852 the 
owner (Charles Jack) of 5,000 acres of land in 
Henry County, near Geneseo, olfered the prairie 
land at from $3 to $5 per acre, while for the 
timber land he asked $50. The writer has been 
told by men who were residents here at the time 
that about 1855, perhaps, an offer of $75 per 
acre was made and refused for the Sanderson 
farm, two miles west of Oregon, on the Oregon 
and Mount Morris road, nearly all of which then 
was particularly well wooded. As lumber from 
the pine forests of the North became plentiful 
and cheap, the timber land here dropi)ed in 
price, while the prairie sections advanced. Twen- 
ty years ago good farms, well improved, .sold for 
from $65 to $75 per acre. Ten years ago an 
advance began which has continued until the 
present time. Timber land now sells for from 
$45 to $65, and prairie farms for from $100 to 

The property valuations for the basis of tax- 
ation in the county for the year 1908 are shown 
by the Assessor's books as follows : 



Personal property $2,044,450 

Farm lands 6,333,379 

Town and city lots 1,189,738 

Railroad proijerty 1,226,524 

Telephone property 15,855 

Total $10,809,926 

As the total returned by the Assessor is one- 
fifth of a fair cash estimate, the value of all 
the property of the county, real and personal, is 
therefore $54,049,630. 




The first county building to be completed was 
the jail of 1840, an order for the erection of 
which was entered at a special term by the 
County Commissioners Court in January, 1S39. 
The plans called for a building 18x18 feet, the 
first story of stone, with walls three feet thick 
without doors, and the second of wood. An out- 
side stairway led to the second story ; the cells of 
the lower story being reached by means of a 
trapdoor and a ladder, the latter being then 
pulled up. The cost of the building was 
$1,822.50, paid to Joseph Knox. 

In January, 1839, a coutract was also let for 
the building of a courthouse to Wm. J. Mix, 
Martin C. Hill and John C. Hulett, who, through 
their representative, Jacob B. Crist, had the two- 
story brick structure, 40x50. feet, sufficiently com- 
pleted for use for the spring term of the Circuit 
Court in March, 1841, when on the 21st, the 
day before court convened, it was set on fire 
during the night and burned to the ground. 
This was the act of the bandits then infesting 
the county who hoped to help their comrades, 
six of whom were prisoners In the jail, a few 
feet from the courthouse, the burning of which 
they expected would moan also the destruction 

of the jail and the liberation of their partners 
in crime. In both matters they were disap- 
pointed. The court records were at the private 
house of the clerk, B. T. Phelps, and the flames 
did not reach the jail. 

For the destroyed courthouse $4,000 had been 
expended. This and other money for public uses 
was not raised by taxation alone, that source of 
revenue being insuflicient at that time, when the 
county tax produced but $877.78, and a year 
later, 1842, the total valuation of the personal 
property of the county was only $167,348. The 
proceeds from sales of lots from land secured to 
the county, under act of Congress, of May 24, 
1824, were added to the inadequate taxes made 
under the direction of the County Commissioners 
Court, whose first agent was Thomas Ford. 

During the two years between March, 1841, 
and March, 1843, and while the courts of the 
county were first held in various private houses, 
the idea of changing the county-seat arose and 
was much agitated. Mount Morris, Byron, Grand 
Detour and Daysville being candidates. The 
matter was finally settled at a mass meeting held 
at the Oregon schoolhouse, where speeches were 
made and the question submitted to a vote, re- 
sulting in favor of Oregon by a small majority, 
Daysville giving up the contest before the vote 
was taken, and voting with Mr. Phelps and his 
friends for Oregon City. 

The Commissioners Court authorized Philip R. 
Bennett, W. W. Fuller, and D. H. L. Moss to 
act as the court's agents in the matter, and the 
county's second courthouse was built and finished 
in the summer of 1848, being a one-story brick 
structure costing $3,000. 

In 1846 the second jail was built, the one of 
1840, always poor, having been condemned. The 
contract was secured at public auction by Thomas 
A. Potwin, with Isaac S. Wooley as his bonds- 
man, for $1,990. This continued to serve until 
1874, when the present jail was built. Including 
a residence for the Sheriff for $20,000. The 
building committee of the Board of 
were Daniel Shottenkirk, Charles W. Sammis 
and George W. Dwight. 

The present courthouse was erected in 1892. 
The old one was inadequate in every respect, 
yet there was vigorous opposition and strong 
effort was required to secure a new building. 
One of the Supervisors who favored the im- 
provement, happened to be ill when the measure 
was voted for. but had himself brought from his 







f . - 




home to Oregon and then carried on a chair to 
the meeting to register his vote, without which 
defeat seemed probable. This was Daniel Shot- 
tenkirk of Lafayette Township, an expert ac- 
countant, who, for several years prior to his 
decease, assisted in clerical work at the court- 
house. The building is of red pressed brick with 
Naperville and Ashton stone trimmings in rock 
face design, erected at a cost of $100,000. The 
building committee was composed of the fol- 
lowing Supervisors: J. D. White, W. G. Stevens, 
F. B. Gale, W. Stocking, R. S. Marshall. The 
architect was G. O. Garnsey : the builder. C. A. 


naces with blast, and lighted by electricity. 
Under the excellent management of the present 
superintendent and his wife, who is the daugh- 
ter of the former superintendent, the Ogle 
County Farm is one of the best institutions of 
its kind in the State. 



On February 20, 1878, the chairman of the 
Board of Supervisors appointed the following 
committee : M. J. Braden, C. W. Sammis, W. E. 
Curry, J. D. White. D. H. Talbot and J. W. 
Hitt, to purchase a tract of land for an Ogle 
County poor farm. The committee purchased of 
Dr. H. A. Mix, 50 acres at $66.00 per acre, the 
land being situated along the west bank of Rock 
River a short distance south of the city of Ore- 
gon. The Board, at the same meeting, had ap- 
propriated $13,300 to pay for this land and for 
the erection of a suitable building thereon. The 
building proper cost $10,095, and was completed 
for the admission of patients by October 1, 1878. 
E. L. Edmonds was appointed superintendent, but 
only continued until April 1, 1879, being suc- 
ceeded by C. W. Sammis, who filled the posi- 
tion until August 1, 1898, when C. H. Beteben- 
ner, the present superintendent, was appointed. 

On December 21, 18S2, the county physician. 
Dr. E. S. Potter, recommended the erection of 
another building on the poor farm for insane 
patients. The following year the Board of Su- 
pervisors had an 18-room brick building erected 
at a cost of about $9,500. 

The farm land has been added to, until it 
now comprises 207 acres of the most fertile land 
in Ogle County. The last purchase, in 1906, 
was that of 80 acres from Fred R. Mix for $10,- 
000. George Rummel, W. D. Maekay, S. J. 
Parker, J. E. Fisher and G. W. King were the 
members of the Board comprising the county 
farm c-ommittee making this purchase. The 
present county farm committee is S. J. Parker, 
L. C. Sprecher. S. W. Powell, W. D. Maekay, 
H. .T. Cleveland. 

The buildings are heated with hot air fur- 




"The hill that yesterday was gray 
And barren in the sun. 
Is good to look uix)n to-day — 
Mark how the furrows run '." 

— Denver RepiibJictin. 

The farm work of the pioneers was done 
largely by hand, and with crude implements. 
The prairie sod was turned by a team of six to 
eight yoke of oxen, with a plow that cut a lur- 
row two or three feet wide. The plow beam, 
from eight to twelve feet long, was framed into 
an axle, on each end of which was a wheel sawed 
from an oak log: this held the plow upright. 
The nice adjustment and fitting of the coulter 
and broad share required a practiced hand. The 
foregoing, long since out of use here and seldom 
seen nowadays, was known as the breaking plow. 
The ordinary plow had an iron share and land 
slide and a cast-iron mold-board that might or 
might not scour, depending upon the character 
of the soil, unless it was so squarely set against 
the furrow as to be a heavy draft to the team. 
Later, when the present smooth, steel mold-board 
began to be made it was an improvement. 

In Ogle County both right-handed and left- 
handed plows were used and are still in use. 
This difference is owing to the fact that some 
of the settlers were from Northern Pennsyl- 
vania, New Tork and New England ; while others 
were from Southern Pennsylvania, Maryland 



iuid Virgiuia. the former turning tbe furrow 
to the right, tbe latter an equally good one to 
the left. 

Wheat was cut with the cradle, the more mod- 
ern cradle, not long before the advent of the reap- 
ing machine, having taken the place of the sickle, 
over which it was as much of an advance as 
was the ilcCormick reaper over the cradle. Each 
cradle was followed by a man who raked the 
wheat into bundles, and he by another who 
bound the bundles into sheaves by means of 
bands made of the stalks. Often a force of five 
or more cradlers, each to the left and a little 
back of the other, beginning with the leader, 
might be seen at work in the same field, swing- 
ing in unison as they slowly and rj'thmically 
moved forward, each making a cut of five or 
more feet, and leaving the wheat in an even 
swath to the rear. This meant fifteen or more 
persons at work together, though sometimes the 
one who bound also raked. 

If not flailed out by hand, or tramped out 
by horses, passing in a circle over and over it, 
the wheat was threshed by a rude machine con- 
sisting merely of a spiked and encased cylinder, 
which threw grain, chaff and straw all out to- 
gether. Later, a "shaker" was added, which 
separated the straw from the chaff and wheat, 
and a fanning mill completed the work. 

When first planted to wheat, the lands of the 
county produced good yields of from thirty to 
forty bushels per acre. Both winter and spring 
wheat were then raised. After a few crops were 
taken, the yield diminished perceptibly, and for 
a number of years no wheat has been raised for 
the market, except on newly-cleared timber land, 
where a good crop may be expected. The re- 
maining grains —, barley, oats and corn- 
maintain their yields as at first, on well cared- 
for land. Corn is producing more bushels per 
acre, and of a finer qualitj-, than ever before. 
It is not uncommon now to hear of yields of 
from 50 to 65 bushels per acre, and in some in- 
stances as high as 75. The same may be said 
of the yield of oats, especially since yellow oats 
have been raised. This is owing, as regards 
corn, chiefly to corn breeding and corn judging 
with the view of improving the seed, inaugurated 
and carried forward by the agricultural experi- 
ment station of the University of Illinois. In 
order to derive all possible benefit from this, 
the County Farmers' Institute has for several 
years sent out to a number of boys throughout 

the county a thousand kernels of selected and 
approved seed corn to be planted, cultivated and 
handled by them according to accompanying 
directions, and has given a cash premium for 
the best written report of their success. The 
Institute has also conducted a class in corn 
judging from the exhibit made at the Institute, 
and to the two boys under 20 years of age who 
stood first and second therein it has given, for 
the past several years as premium, car fare and 
expenses amounting to $25 for each, for a two 
week's stay at the University of Illinois during 
the time of special instruction in corn growing. 
One of the legumes is attracting the attention 
of many of the farmers at the present tinje ; 
namely, alsyke clover. This hybrid is liked 
for pasture, for hay, as a fertilizer, but most 
of all for a crop of seed. Two years ago. Mr. 
Harvey Griswold of Rockvale Township, cut 
for seed a fine stand on 39 acres, which upon 
being hulled, produced the astonishing yield of 
303 bushels. Most of this was sold at $8 per 
bushel. This year the yield was one bushel, or 
less, per acre. 

A few experiments have been made with al- 
falfa. The results have varied so much that no 
conclusion ma.v as yet be drawn from the meager 
data. Weeds growing faster than the alfalfa at 
the start has made a good stand difiicult to ob- 
tain ; while killing out from excess of moisture 
and a tendency to revert to blue grass after a 
season or two, have diminished a good stand 
when secured; but it has permitted three cut- 
tings during the season, with a yield each time 
of one to one and a half tons per acre, and its 
feeding qualities are satisfactory. 

The Ogle County Farmers' Institute is an 
acknowledged factor in advancing agriculture. 
Its last meeting was held at Mount Morris on 
December 12-14, 1908. The topics discussed 
were. Bridges and Highways, with special ref- 
erence to improving Earth Roads by the use of 
the Split Log Drag; Insects Injurious to corn; 
Potatoes and their Culture ; Cement Construc- 
tion on the Farm ; Insects Injurious to Clover ; 
Forestry ; Domestic Science. Among the 
speakers were five from the University of Illi- 
nois. There were exhibits of corn, oats, pota- 
toes, bread, cake, etc., for which cash and other 
premiums were given, aside from the special 
premium referred to at the beginning of this 
chapter. There were morning, afternoon and 
evening sessions, six in all, at which there was 



au average attendance of 300. The Institute re- 
ceived from the State $75 towards meeting its 
expenses, the County Board appropriated $100 
and Col. Franli O. Lowden contributed $100 for 
premiums in corn judging and domestic science, 
to two boys and two girls, to be used for ex- 
penses in attending the University of Illinois 
at the time of the special instruction there in 
January of each year. The total expenditure 
was $317. The executive committee were Col. 
Frank O. Lowden, Frank D. Linn, James P. 
Wilson, President Charles Walkup, Vice-Presi- 
dent R. W. King and Secretary and Treasurer 
Horace G. Kauffman. 

In 18G.5, ilr. Amos F. Moore of Buffalo Towu- 
ship. purchased three Morgan horses of pure 
blood and engaged in breeding that strain for 
thirty-five years, The colts were handled at Mr. 
Moore's large farm and sold when well broken. 
Mr. Moore, at 78, now lives retired in Polo, but 
still shows his fondness for Morgan horses by 
having his driving horse of that blood. 

Mr. Henry Jackson Farwell, of Mount Morris, 
went to Scotland in 1883 and purchased for the 
X-I-T Ranch of Texas, a ranch of 1,000,000 acres 
in which his brothers, John V. Farwell and 
Charles B. Farwell, were investors, a large ship- 
ment of Black Polled, or Aberdeen-Angus, cattle. 
Some of these were brought to Mr. Farwell's 
farm south of Mount Morris and were thus in- 
troduced into the county. 

Mr. James Carmichael, of Maple-Hurst Stock 
Farm, near Rochelle, has been a breeder of 
Shorthorn cattle since 1890. His herd at present 
numbers Go head. He disposes of his surplus 
stock at private sale, his shipments extending 
from Plainfield, Vermont, to Portland, Oregon, 
and from Wisconsin to Texas. The largest an- 
nual sales amounted to over $3,900. Mr. Car- 
michael has twice exhibited at the International 
Fat Stock Show, at Chicago, and won prizes 
both times. 

Mr. Lyman J. Birdsall, of Rochelle, is also a 
breeder of Shorthorn cattle and Abraham and 
Isaiah Coffman, of Maryland Township, raised 
them for a period of years. Mr. Stanley R. 
Pierce of near Creston has the Aberdeen -Angus 


The first county fair in Ogle County was held 
in 1853, on the second Tuesday of October, in 
Oregon, on the Court House Square. Premiums 

were awarded to the amount of $50 and di- 
plomas also given. In 1854 and 1855 the fair 
was also at Oregon, but on the river bank below 
the ferry, which was just south of where the 
bridge now is; while in 1856 the place was 
Byron. It was there that a committee of the 
Ogle County Agricultural Society, which had 
been organized in 1853, was appointed to pur- 
chase 6 to 10 acres of land within one mile of 
Oregon for permanent fair grounds. A year 
later 10 acres of the present fair grounds were 
secured. Additions have been made from time 
to time, until with the last purchase in 1901 
of six acres from Mrs. E. S. Potter, the grounds 
now comprise 28 acres. Most of the gsoands 
are covered with fine forest trees. A half-mile 
irack, much improved during the present year, 
is flanked by sheds for 70 head of horses. Now, 
and for the past ten to twelve years, the three 
days are largely given over to races and accom- 
panying amusements, though formerly there had 
been various exhibits, for which premiums were 

The Society was so much in debt after 1S5S, 
that in 1872 there was a re-organization under 
the general incorporation laws of the State. 
Capital stock to the amount of $10,000 was is- 
sued, divided into 2.000 shares at $5 each. Shares 
were sold throughout the county, and for some 
years the Society has had sufficient money. 
The first officers were D. C. May, President; 
J. L. Moore, Vice-President : Daniel Etnyre, 
Treasurer ; M. L. Ettinger, Secretary. The 
present officers are Frank Gale, President ; E. 
A. Ray, Vice-President ; W. J. Emerson, Treas- 
urer ; W. P. Fearer, Secretary. 

The grounds afford a fine place for athletic 
games, the meetings of Old Settlers' Associa- 
tion and for picnics. From July 3 to 12, 1908, 
the Society furnished the grounds for the first 
Ogle County Chautauqua Assembly. 

Horses o\^^led in Ogle County that have 
shown speed upon the fair grounds track are: 
Margaret M. owned by J. C. Seyster, time, 2 :19, 
trot; Jerry G. George Eyehaner, 2:13 pace; Miss 
Jarvis, Dr. G. JI. McKenney, 2 :10, pace ; Sea 
King, Dr. McKenney, 2 :24, trot ; Retyzdan, Fred 
Watts, 2:24, trot; Missouri Boy. H. L. Griffin, 
2:15, pace; Calcoden, L. E. Prather, 2:13, trot. 
The greatest speed made was during the fair of 
August, 1908, in an exhibition mile trot, by 
Exalted, owned by Judge James H. Cartwright. 
The time was 2 :09%. Citation, also owned by 



Judge Cartwright, whose racing time of 2:01%. 
last fall at Columbus. Ohio, makes her the cham- 
pion pacing mare of the world, was trained on 
this tracli. where as a colt her time was 2:19. 

Spbingvale Fahm. — Springvale Farm, adjoin- 
ing Oregon on the north with a frontage of more 
than a half mile on Rock River, takes its name 
from a number of springs rising in a vale at 
the foot of the hills and running to the river. 
This attractive spot was one of the first pre- 
empted, and was the scene of a claim fight, 
when the settlers turned out and ejected an in- 
truder and his friends by force. The farm as 
now constituted contains 365 acres and is de- 
voted to producing the highest class of light 
harness horses. Here Kensett, a successful sire 
and one of the few sons of Rysdyk's Hamble- 
tonian in the West, was o^^^led and he was suc- 
ceeded by Sidney, record 2:19% — sire of 110 
horses with records ranging from 2 :05% to 2 :30 
and he is grandsire of the world's champion 
trotter. Lou Dillon; record 1:58%. Citation, 
record 2:01%, the unbeaten champion pacing 
mare of 1907 and 1908, was bred and is still 
owned at the farm. Exalted, the present head 
of the stud, has a trotting record of 2:07%, 
which is faster than that of any other trotting 
horse in the State of Illinois. 

Springvale Farm is owned by Judge James 
H. Cartwright of Oregon, who daily drives to 
the farm to inspect and superintend raising the 
light harness horses. 

The farm has a picturesque location and for 
several years has been Judge Cartwrighfs sum- 
mer residence. A commodious bungalow has been 
built on the spot known in pioneer days as Knox 

SiNNissippi Farm. — Three miles south of Ore- 
gon, in Nashua Township, on the left bank of 
Rock River, is Sinnissippl Farm, the home and 
extensive landed possessions of Col. Frank O. 
Lowden and family. The nucleus of the farm, 
known as the "Hemenway Place," was purchased 
by Col. Lowden in 1899, and additions have been 
made, until now the united holdings, consisting 
of field, meadow and woodland, comprise about 
5,000 acres. Of this 1.000 acres make the home 
farm and are given to the breeding of pure- 
bred live stock, while the remaining portion is 
devoted to general farming. 

The live stock includes Percheron horses. 

Shorthorn cattle, and Shropshire sheep. The 
herd of Shorthorns is exceptionally fine, being 
characterized by as pure strains as any in the 
world, several of the number formerly belong- 
ing to the famous herd owned by the late Queen 
Victoria. For Ceremonious Archer, the head 
of the herd, the price paid was $5,000. The an- 
nual auction sales, first at the farm and of late 
at the Stock Yards in Chicago, have brought 
large returns. 

Col. Lowden believes "agriculture is just be- 
ginning to undergo the evolution which has com- 
pletely changed every other great industry.'' 
In a speech in Congress, April 1. 1908, speaking 
to the proposition of an appropriation in the 
Agricultural Appropriation Bill for studying the 
condition of Farmers' Institutes in the different 
States and in Europe in order to increase their 
efl3ciency in the United States, he said: 

"In every township in the section of country 
where I live you can tell, almost to a certainty, 
by the superior crops, by the superior methods, 
by the general air of prosperity, those farmers 
who read and understand and practice the les- 
sons which the agricultural colleges, the experi- 
ment stations, and the Department of Agricul- 
ture teach. 

"Our resources in agriculture .surpass the 
world. The problem is to conserve these re- 
sources. Our very danger lay in what seemed, 
even a score of years ago, the inexhaustible rich- 
ness of our fields. But under the leadership of 
our agricultural colleges, our experiment stations 
our farmers' institutes, and our great Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, we have finally learned that 
there can be no permanent agriculture without 
a scientific agriculture. 

"We now know that you cannot everlastingly 
subtract from the soil, returning nothing to it, 
even upon our richest lands, without ultimate 
Impoverishment. I undertake to say that if the 
methods which obtained a generation ago in the 
Mississippi Valley,— richer agriculturally than 
any like area any^vhere in the world — had con- 
tinued for a hundred .years, that Valley would 
have become as unproductive as those sections 
of the East where farms are only the toy of the 

"One result of the new agriculture is of politi- 
cal and far-reaching importance. Much as we 
admire our great cities, we must all confess that 
the security of the Republic in the future abides 

C(^. /^^^^^^^^"^^^^^^^ 



largely in our rural populations. In every crisis, 
whether of war or peace, we turn confidently 
for safety to the sober, deliberate judgment of 
those who dwell apai-t from the great metropo- 

"Many thoughtful people have noted with re- 
gret the trend from the country towards the 
larger centers of population. The new agri- 
culture is doing more to attach the farmers' 
sons to the soil than all other causes combined. 
With every advance of science in its relation to 
agriculture the drudgery of the farm diminishes. 
There has already begun to be substituted for it 
a noble profession in which the soils, the crops, 
and the improved breeds of domestic animals 
become the servants of the farmers' brain." 

These words of Col. Lowden give an idea of 
what he is doing at Sinnissippi Farm. 

James Moore entered land from the Goveru- 
ment which is now the site of the Lowden home. 
Luke Hemenway, who made his start in life in a 
drug-store in Brooklyn, N. Y., and who eventu- 
ally became wealthy as a ship-owner in Jersey 
City, N. J., came west in the eai'ly 'forties, and 
in 1843 entered a large body of land. John Carr 
was the first white man to settle on the section 
Mr. Hemenway selected as his home place, and 
the creek was named after him. He held the 
land only under the squatter right, and having 
no money, could not enter it. Mr. Hemenway 
therefore secured his claim, entered the laud, 
at the same time entering 40 acres at one side, 
which he gave to the dispossessed settler. 

Mr. Hemenway owned a fine home on the 
Hudson, in New York, where his family resided 
during his lifetime, he only using his Rock River 
place as a summer retreat where he could enjoy 
hunting and fishing. 

On August 23, 1880, the farm was sold to Gen- 
eral Franklin D. Callendar, a retired army offi- 
cer, who lived on an adjoining estate but never 
occupied the home. On May 10, 1885, the laud, 
consisting of 576.41 acres, was sold by the Cal- 
lendar estate to Emma O. Asay, the wife of 
Edward G. Asay, of Chicago. Mr. Asay was a 
prominent lawyer and was possessed of esthetic 
tastes. He occupied the premises and filled the 
house with a fine library and beautiful bric-a 
brae, much of which was collected on his trips 

abroad. On April 18, 1895, the farm was sold 
to Lorenzo D. Kneeland, of Chicago, for a con- 
sideration of $35,000. He lived upon the prop- 
erty for a few years and. on May 20, 1899, sold 
the place to Col. Lowden. 

The house built by Mr. Hemenway was at first 
remodeled by the present owner ; but, proving too 
small for its occupants, in 1905 it was torn 
down and a spacious and handsome dwelling, 
designed by Messrs. Pond & Pond, of Chicago, 
was built upon the site of the original house, 
thus keeping the beautiful outlook upon the flue 
s-n-eep of landscape, of combined river, bluffs 
and trees. By one owner the place had been 
given the name of "The Oaks," on account of the 
mass of these trees surrounding the bend and 
forming the background. The old house had .a 
curious feature as a protection from possible 
molestations by the Indians, who at the time of 
its construction occasionally passed up and down 
the river, — the windows having been constructed 
with inside sliding shutters, which slipped back 
on each side of the window into recesses in the 
wall, when not needed. The living-room of the 
new home occupies very nearly the same place 
In the plan of construction and location as did 
the parlor of the former dwelling. In the demo- 
lition of the old building the walnut woodwork 
of the old parlor was carefully preserved ; and 
this age-darkened wood, in its simple, rich beauty, 
is now the finish of this modern living-room. 
The house is irregular in plan, being built of 
cement, brick trimmed, with limestone, timbered 
plaster and shingles to suit the varying parts 
of the design. A unique and charming part of 
the place is a walled garden, almost enclosed 
by the wings of the house. In this garden a 
dense foliage of vines, plants and shrubs, cluster- 
ing about walks and seats, and the delightful 
cooling drip of falling water from a fWHitaln in 
one of the enclosed walls, make a lovely and 
restful spot. 

In the library of this house is contained a 
large and excellent collection of books, — works 
on subjects of general literature and history. 
They include a very complete number and vari- 
ety of volumes pertaining to the history of Illi- 
nois, which have been consulted, by the courtesy 
of the possessor, in the writing of the narrative 
portion of this History of Ogle County. 

hi>;toey of ogle county. 



TIONAL con\'e:ntions ; in the general as- 
sembly ; IN the courts and the COUNTY OF- 

The first presidential election after the or- 
ganization of Ogle County, was that of 18-10. 
Fifteen months before, a Whig convention, the 
first of that party, met at Harrisburg, Pa., and 
nominated Gen. William Henry Harrison for 
President, and John Tyler for Vice-President, 
but made no declaration of principles, relying 
upon opposition to the policies which had pro- 
duced the panic of 1837, and other alleged mis- 
takes of General Jackson. Party lines were 
more closely drawn than ever before. A Demo- 
cratic editor happened to say, "If some one 
would present Harrison with a barrel of cider, 
he would sit down on a log. content the rest of 
his days," and at once the log cabin and hard 
cider became the campaign emblems. Gen Har- 
rison had been given the sobriquet of "Tippe- 
canoe," because of having routed the Indian 
Chief, Tecumseh. in the battle of Tippecanoe, and 
on every side were heard shouts of "Tippecanoe 
and Tyler, too," with such jingles as. 

"Hurrah for Tip.— Hurrah for Ty. 
For them we go it — hip and thigh." 

In Ogle County there were Harrison and Tyler 
mass meetings, with speeches, songs and music. 
The new community favored the new party. Ow- 
ing to the "internal improvement" scheme, the 
State debt had reached the surprising total of 
?14,000,000: the panic had caused bank suspen- 
sion ; Illinois bonds had depreciated to fourteen 
cents on the dollar ; taxes were high and would 
be higher; emigrants were avoiding the State — 
all of which was ascribed to Democratic rule. 
The vote in the county showed 451 ballots for 
Harrison, and 2GG for Van Buren. 

In 1S42, the Democratic nominee for Governor 
was Adam W. Snyder of St. Clair County. His 
death occurred soon after the nomination and. 
to fill the vacancy .=o made, his partv selected 

Judge Thomas Ford of Ogle County, whose place 
of residence was Oregon and had been since 
1836. When nominated. Judge Ford was an As- 
sociate Judge of the Supreme Court, and as such 
had been assigned to circuit duty in the Ninth 
Judicial District, which included Ogle County, 
the office of Circuit Judge having been abolished 
by the Legislature in that body's experimental 
policy with the judiciary in 1841. prior to which 
the Legislature had twice elected Judge Ford lo 
the position of Circuit Judge, and also Judge of 
Chicago. Ante-dating his service as Judge, he 
had been Prosecuting Attorney of Northern Illi- 
nois under appointment by Governor Edwards 
in 1S29. and under re-appointment by Governor 

His judicial duties took him as far north as 
Galena, and as far east as Geneva. He was well 
known, his former residence farther south in the 
State contributing to that, and he had not been 
connected with the obnoxious legislation In the 
interests of the Mormons, for which the Demo- 
cratic party was then being censured. He was 
holding court at Oregon when he received notice 
of his nomination. He immediately resigned 
this judgeship, entered upon the canvass, was 
elected in August and inaugurated in December. 
A curious thing happened in Judge Ford's home 
county. The only Democratic paper in Ogle 
C-ounty was the Rock River Register, which 
upon Judge Ford's nomination turned against 
him and supported the Whigs. The northern 
boundary matter was then being agitated by the 
people of the fourteen northern counties, a ma- 
jority of whom favored being set back to Wis- 
consin. In Ogle County that sentiment had 
found strong expression at a meeting held at 
Oregon in January. 1842. Judge Ford was op- 
posed to returning the disputed territory to Wis- 
consin. He was therefore declared by the Rock 
River Repialcr to be a "northern man with 
southern principles." Of course, the central and 
southern portions of the State desired the coun- 
ties retained on the score of lightening the taxes 
needed to be levied to pay the heavy debt. .Judge 
Ford received 46.452 votes against 39.429 for 
Duncan, the 'UTiig candidate. On general prin- 
ciples. Ford was a man of upright character and 
a trustworthy official — in nothing more so than 
In favoring a just payment of the State's obli- 
gations and setting himself against the policy of 
repudiation, which was favored in certain 
ters. In bis History he says: "It is my solemn 



belief that, when I came into office. I had the 
power to make Illinois a repudiating State. 
It is true I was not the leader of any party ; but 
my position as Governor would have given me 
leadership enough to have carried the Demo- 
cratic party, except in a few counties in the 
north, in favor of repudiation. If I had merely 
stood still and done nothing,, the result would 
have been the same. In that ease a majority of 
both parties would have led to either active or 
passive repudiation. The politicians on either 
side, without a bold lead to the contrary by 
some one high in office, would never have dared 
to risk their popularitj- by being the first to ad- 
vocate an increase of taxes to be paid by a tax- 
hating people." 

The new county continued to hold to its po- 
litical faith as first expressed in 1S40. In lS+1 
it gave the Whig candidate, Henry Clay. 503 
votes ; the Democratic standard-bearer. James K. 
Polk, 361 votes, and cast 77 votes for James G. 
Birney, nominated by the new Free Soil party. 
In 1S4S the county again showed its preference 
for the Whig candidate by giving Zachary Taylor 
682 votes, to 4S0 votes for Lewis Cass, Democrat, 
and 413 votes for Martin Van Buren, Free Soil. 
The Whig party made another attempt in 1852, 
when they nominated General Winfield Scott, 
against Franklin Pierce, Democrat, and ,Tohn P. 
Hale, Free Soil. In Ogle County the vote stood 
898, 725 and 294 respectively. 

Various causes were in operation, particularly 
the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill in 1854, 
which repealed the Missouri Compromise, im- 
pelling the organization of a new political party, 
which should be opposed to the further exten- 
sion of slavery into free territory and to the 
admission into the Union of any more slave 
States. In Illinois, following m.any mass meet- 
ings in all parts of the State, but particularly 
in the northern counties, a convention was called 
to meet at Springfield during the week of the 
State Fair. The delegates met under difficulties, 
but organized and appointed a State Central 
Committee. At the same time a series of de- 
liatos was going on in the State Capitol, in which 
Senator Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Lyman 
Trumbull and others took part. Local candi- 
dates had been previously nominated. In the 
First Congressional District, which included 
Ogle County, E. B. Washburne had received the 
nomination for Congress. This was the begin- 
ning in Illinois of the party. Its 

adherents included many Democrats, most 
Whigs and all Free-Soilers. In 1856. the party 
put forward as its candidate for the Presidency 
Gen. John C. Fremont. 

This campaign in Ogle County was made mem- 
orable because of a mass meeting at Oregon, 
where the afternoon's addresses included a 
speech from Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln 
came to Oregon from Dixon by way of Polo, 
going to Polo over the then recently completed 
Illinois Central Railway, and driving the rest 
of the way. accompanied by Senator Zenas Ap- 
plington, John D. Campbell, Esq.. and J. W. Car- 
penter. Esq.. on the morning of August 16. The 
speaking took place in the grove in North Ore- 
gon, at or near the boulder now marking the 
spot and commemorating the occurrence. A fel- 
low speaker with Mr. Lincoln was John Went- 
worth, of Chicago, a former Democrat and Con- 
gressman of the Second District, familiarly 
known as "Long John." Mr. Lincoln had been 
in the Illinois Legislature and one term in Con- 
gress (1847-49), after which he had resumed 
the practice of the law, and had not taken much 
part in public affairs until called forward at 
the organization of the Republican party by his 
hatred of slavery. Judge Campbell recalls that 
the posters gave Wentworth's name first, in let- 
ters twice the size of those used for Lincoln's 
name. The occasion was the opening of the cam- 
paign in Ogle County. Wentworth spoke first, for 
an hour or more. As Lincoln began his speech, 
a branch of the oak tree under which had been 
erected the platform on which the speaker stood, 
touched his head and disturbed him. Taking 
from his pocket a huge jack-knife he cut away a 
portion of the limb, remarking as he did so. 
"I don't see how John got along with this." 
"John" was himself over six feet in height. 
Both speakers urged the election of the Republi- 
can ticket. There were also present on the plat- 
form Martin P. Sweet, of Freeport. and John 
F. Farnsworth, of St. Charles, the latter then 
candidate for Congress in the Second District. 
Fallowing Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Sweet briefly ad- 
dressed the audience. It is said that more than 
half of the population of the county was present. 
The four men were entertained at Moore's 
Hotel, now the Rock River House, where after 
dinner they shook hands with such of the citi- 
zens as desired to meet them. After the speak- 
ing the visitors were taken to the law office of 
Henry A. Mix, Esq., a tw'o-story building that 



stood on Third Street near the northwest cor- 
ner of Third and Washington Streets, where a 
crowd surrounded them and many others met 
them. Later Mr. Mi.x invited them to his homo 
at the west end of Washington Street. Mr. 
Lincoln was aslied by Mr. Mix what he thought 
were the chances of BYemont's election, and re- 
plied, "Mr. Mix, as an attorney, what is your 
opinion of the value of a tax-title in Illinois?" 
As Fremont failed of election, Mr. Lincoln's 
suggestion of the uncertninty that lay in hia 
own mind, was evidence of his political sagacity. 
In the evening, Mr. Lincoln left Oregon, return- 
ing to Polo. 

John Sharp, then editor of the Ogle Countji 
Reporter, now of Pasadena, Cal., with the late 
Judge George P. Jacobs and the late Capt. Hor- 
ace J. Smith, constituted the committee of ar- 
rangements for the meeting. Mr. Sharp, in a 
recent communication to the writer, in answer 
to inquiries says : "I well remember the first 
glimpse of the Great Emancipator. His tall 
form, enveloped in an ample linen duster, cov- 
ered with dust, as he arose in descending from 
the carriage, presented a verj' striking appear- 
ance. Perhaps the most notable feature of his 
si>eech was the evident sincerity and candor 
with which he approached Ihe discussion. There 
was no 'speaking to the galleries' to mystify his 
hearers, but a straight forward argument in 
which he presented the question in all its bear- 
ings, although at times he enlivened the sub- 
ject with some quaint remark which helped to 
elucidate the point he sought to make clear. 
One mannerism he had was to catch the eye of 
some one in the audience and address his re- 
marks to that particular person for a time. Not- 
withstanding the late hour when he began, he 
held his audience until after four o'clock when 
many had to travel twenty miles or more to 
reach their homes. His speeches in the Fremont 
campaign did more to fuse and mold the diverg- 
ent opinions of the West than any other agency, 
particularly in Illinois. From that time he was 
the dominant figure in the politics of that State." 

Mr. E. L. Wells, then residing at Monroe, for 
many years after a resident of Oregon, now of 
Aurora, was one of those who had driven half 
way across the county to attend the meeting. 
Not long since he gave to the Aurora Beacon 
his recollections of the day, from which the fol- 
lowing is taken : 

"In going to the platfurni, Mr. Lincoln passed 

within a foot of me. I was standing by a tree 
about a rod from the platform. My companion 
said, "Is this Mr. Lincoln?" 'Yes,' he replied 
very pleasantly, 'I suppose jou thought you 
would see a good looking man, didn't you?'" 

The following letter under date of Forreston, 
111., relating to the big mass meeting, is from the 
files of the Chicago Democrat (John Wentworth's 
paper), issue of August 30, 1850: 

"Dear Sir: The cause is progressing first rate 
about these 'diggins' since our grand rally In 
Oregon. The Buchanan men can't stand the fire. 
We have but one pro-slavery man in our village, 
and he is on the quiver." 

Nevertheless, while Fremont had 899 votes in 
the county, Buchanan received 755 ; and Fill- 
more, the candidate of the American party, as 
what was left of the Whig party was called, was 
given 294. Their political faith was shown by 
their motto, "No alien should be on guard." In 
the country at large Fremont was defeated, as 
Mr. Lincoln had indicated. 

Mrs. Rebecca Hinkle, now a resident of Ore- 
,gon. but who was a neighbor of Mr. Lincoln's 
in the city of Springfield, living on the opposite 
side of the street in the years of 1848 and 1849, 
recalls seeing him daily passing back and forth 
from his office to his house — the plain frame 
dwelling which later became so well known as 
his Springfield home. 

Four years later, Mr. Lincoln himself was the 
presidential candidate of the Republicans, slave- 
ry being the agitating question, and the cele- 
brated Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 being the 
chief factor in bringing about his nomination. 
A split in the Democratic party resulted In two 
nominees, Stephen A. Douglas by the northern 
faction, and John C. Breckenridge by the south- 
ern. The remnant of the distintegrated Ameri- 
can party, calling itself the Union party, nomi- 
nated John Bell. The total vote in Ogle County 
of 1848, four years before, now rose to 4,555 — 
nearly two and one-half times as great, and 
showing an astonishing increase In population, 
as well as the intense interest in the campaign. 
Of the total county vote, Lincoln received 3,184, 
Douglas, 1,315. Breckenridge. 16. and Bell, 40. 

In 1864, after conducting a great war for three 
years with varying fortunes, but with the prom- 
ise of ultimate success, Lincoln was renominated, 
his party taking his view that it was "not wise 
to swap horses while crossing a stream." Gen- 
eral George B. McClellan was the candidate of 



the Democrats on a peace platform. The vote 
stood (the absent soldiers voting in the field) : 
Lincoln. 3,239 ; McClellan, 1,142. 

Ulysses S. Grant received 3,666 votes and Ho- 
ratio Seymour, 1,507 in 1S68. In 1872, opposi- 
tion-^o some of the public acts of some of Grant's 
appointees and councillors caused the rise of the 
Liberal Republican party, which nominated Hor- 
ace Greeley, while the Republicans renominated 
Grant. The Democrats endorsed Horace Greeley, 
and the platform of the Liberal Republicans, 
except that a few who refused to follow that 
lead supported Charles O'Connor. The county 
gave Grant 3,094 votes, Greeley 1,248, and 
O'Connor 27. It is evident that nearly one 
thousand voters refrained from expressing 
their will. In 1S7G a new party was in the 
field for recognition in the matter of the 
presidency, with Peter Cooper, the New York 
merchant and philanthropist, as their candidate 
and demanding an extended issue of treasury 
notes — "greenbacks" — hence the name Green- 
back party. The Republicans put forward Ruth- 
erford B. Hayes, after a strong efllort to nomi- 
nate James G. Blaine, while the Democrats put 
forward Samuel J. Tilden, Governor of New 
York. The county divided its suffrage as fol- 
lows: Hayes, 3,883; Tilden, 1,921; Cooper, 104. 
A dispute over the accuracy of returns from one 
of the States led to the appointment by Congress 
of an Electoral Commission consisting of five 
Senators, five Representatives, and five Judges 
of the Supreme Court, this body by a vote of 
8 to 7 awarding the disputed State to Hayes, 
thus securing his election to the Presidency. 

The vte of Ogle County for President at sub- 
sequent periods has been as follows : 

1S80— Garfield (Rep.), 4,053; Hancock 
(Dem.) 2,085; Weaver (Greenback), 249; Neal 
Dow (Prohibitionist), 11. 

1884^Blaine (Rep.), 3,969; Cleveland (Dem.), 
2,285; Butler (Gr'b'k), 61; St. John (Prohi.), 

1888— Harrison (Rep.), 4,135; Cleveland, 
(Dem.), 2,255; Fish (Prohi.), 330. 

1892— Harrison (Rep.), 3,939; Cleveland 
(Dem.), 2,244; Bidwell (Prohi.), 283. 

1896— McKinley (Rep.), 5,210; Bryan (Dem.), 
2,134; Levering (Prohi.), 95; Palmer (Gold- 
Dem.), 77. 

1900— McKinley (Rep.), 5,2.55; Bryan (Dem.), 
2,171; Woolley (Prohi.), 179. 

1904— Roosevelt (Rep.), 5.109; Parker 
(Dem.), 1,209; Swallow (Prohi.), 418. 

1!X)8 — Taft (Rep.), 4.848: Bryan (Dem. I, 
1,761; Chafin (Prohi.), 388. 

The vote for Governor the latter year was : De- 
neen (Rep.), .3,998; Stevenson (Dem.), 2,434. 
The difference between the vote for the candi- 
dates for President and Governor on the re- 
spective tickets was due to the opposition on the 
part of some of the Republicans to Mr. Deneen 
as the party candidate, on account of certain 
alleged mistakes in policy during his first term. 

In 1892 and again in 1896, Hon. T. B. Reed. 
Member of Congress from Maine and Speaker 
of the House, visited this Congressional District 
and delivered speeches at Rockford, Freeport, 
Mount Morris and Oregon. 

Speaker Reed in 1896, in addressing the citi- 
zens of Oregon and visiting delegations from 
over the county, made his speech in a wigwam 
built on the lot at the southwest corner of 
Fourth and Monroe Streets for the purposes of 
the campaign. 

Ogle County first voted for Congressman 
in 1839. In 1842 it became a part of the Sixth 
District, and was represented in the Twenty- 
eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses by Joseph 
P. Hoge, of Galena ; while in the Thirtieth Con- 
gress, Col. Thomas J. Turner, of Freeport, was 
the Representative, and Col. Edward D. Baker, 
of Galena, in the Thirty-first Congress. Col. 
Baker was a member of the Whig party, ex- 
cepting whom all of the preceding were Demo- 
crats. Col. Baker was succeeded by Thomas 
Campbell, Democrat, of Galena, who in turn 
was defeated by a Whig, Elihu B. Washburne, 
of Galena, who remained the Representative 
of the now again First District during the 
Thirty-third, Thirty-fourth, Thirtj'-fifth, Thirty- 
sixth, and Thirty-seventh Congresses, 1853 to 
1803. A re-apportionment placed Ogle County in 
the Third District. Congressman Washburne 
was elected from the latter, and was Representa- 
tive during the Thirty-eight, Thirty-ninth, Forti- 
eth, and until March ninth, 1869, of the Forty- 
first Congress, when he resigned to become 
Minister to France, and was succeeded De- 
cember sixth, 1869, by Horatio C. Burchard, 
Republican, of Freeport, who represented the 
Third District during the Fort.y-first and Forty- 
second Congresses, 1869 to 1873. By a second 
re-apportionment Ogle County became a part 
of the Fifth District, where it continued to be 



represented by Mr. BurcLard during the Forty- 
third, Fortj'-fourth, .and Forty-fiftli Congresses, 
from 1873 to 1879. In 1878 Major Robert M. 
A. Hawli, Republican, of Mount Carroll, was 
elected from the Fifth District, and was a mem- 
ber of the Forty-sixth and part of the Forty- 
seventh Congresses. Major Hawk died June 29. 
1882, two days before the date set for the meet- 
ing of the convention to nominate for the next 
Congress, at which Major Hawk's re-nomination 
was expected. The convention met to receive 
the announcement of his death, and adjourned 
for 30 days. Upon re-convening, Robert R. Hitt, 
of Mount Morris, was nominated, and was nomi- 
nated also for the unexpired portion of Major 
Hawk's term. He was elected and re-elected so 
as to sit in Congress for the remainder of the 
Forty-seventh Congress, and during the Forty- 
eighth, Forty-ninth. Fiftieth. Fifty-first. Fifty- 
second. Fifty-third. Fifty-fourth, Fift.v-fifth. 
Fifty-sixth, Fifty-seventh, Fifty-eighth and part 
of the Filty-ninth Congi-esses, 1882 to 1906, re- 
signing in February, in 1906 ; Ogle County hav- 
ing in the ii;eantime, in 1883, become a part of 
the Sixth District, in 1895 of the Ninth, and in 
1903 of the Thirteenth District, which at this 
time consists of Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, 
Whiteside, Lee and Ogle Counties. Col. B. F. 
Sheets, of Oregon, was a candidate for the Re- 
publican nomination in 1882. For the nomina- 
tion of 1904, Mr. Hitt was opposed by Attorney 
H. A. Smith, of Oregon, Master-in-Chancery for 
Ogle County. Col. F. O. Lowden, of Oregon, 
Republican, was elected on November 6, 1906. 
for the remaining portion of the Fifty -ninth, and 
the full term of the Sixtieth Congress. Col. 
Lowden was opposed for the nomination by At- 
torney William P. Landon. of Rochelle. The 
candidate on the Democratic ticket was also an 
Ogle County man, James P. Wilson, of Woosung. 
for a number of years minority member of the 
General Assembly from this senatorial district. 
On November 3, 1908, Col. Lowden was re- 
elected for the Sixty-first Congress. 

Congressman Hitt was a candidate before the 
General Assembly in January, 1897, for election 
to the United States Senate. He had made 
no canvass of the State, but before the contest 
ended his candidacy had developed formidable 
strength. Mr. Hitt's name was brought promi- 
nently before the nation in June, 1904. prior 
to the meeting in Chicago of the Republican 
National Convention, in the matter of the Re- 

publican nomination for the Vice-Presidency. His 
sudden alarming illness on the eve of the as- 
sembling of the convention precluded any fur- 
ther consideration of a project that had been 
favorably received throughout .the country. 

Ogle County was represented in the Legisla- 
ture for the first time in December, 1839, when 
the Eleventh General Assembly convened. It 
is now joined with Winnebago County to form 
the Tenth Senatorial District, hut at different 
times it has been in various districts. The fol- 
lowing are the members of the Senate and the 
House from 1839 to the present time : 

11th General Assembly : Senate, George W. 
Harrison; House, James Craig. Germanicus 

12th : Senate, George W. Harrison ; House, 
Thomas Drummond, Hiram W. Thornton. 

13th : Senate, Spooner Ruggles ; House, Leon- 
ard Andrus. 

14th : Senate, Spooner Ruggles ; House. Sam- 
uel JI. Hitt. Anson S. Miller. 

15th : Senate, Anson S. Miller ; House. Will- 
iam G. Dana. 

16th: Senate, William B. Plato; House, 
Dauphin Brow-n. 

17th: Senate, William B. Plato; House. Wil- 
liam T. Miller. 

ISth: Senate, William B. Plato; Plouse. E. 
S. Potter. 

19th : Senate, Waite Talcott ; House. Danio] 
J. Pinekney. 

20th: Senate, Waite Talcott; House. Daniel 
J. Pinekney. 

21st : Senate, Zenas Aplington ; House, 
Joshua White. 

22d : Senate. Zenas Aplington; Plouse. Fran- 
cis A. McNeil. 

23d : Senate, Daniel Richards ; House, James 
V. Gale. 

24th: Senate, Daniel Richards; House, Dan- 
iel J. Pinekney. 

25th: Senate, Daniel J. Pinekney; House, 
Thomas J. Hewett. 

26th : Senate. Daniel J. Pinekney ; House, 
Ogden B. Youngs. 

27th: Senate. James K. Edsall. WinfieUl S. 
Wilkinson ; House. Mortimer W. Smith, Jeremiah 

2Sth : Senate, George P. Jacobs ; House, Isaac 
Rice, Henry D. Dement. Frederick H. Marsh. 
29th : Senate, George P. Jacobs ; House, 




Isaac Rice, Heury D. Dement, Frederick H. 

30th : Senate, Henry D. Dement : House, Abi- 
jah Powers, Frank N. Tiee, Bernard H. Trues- 

31st : Senate, Henry D. Dement : House, 
Frank N. Tice, Bernard H. Truesdale, Alexan- 
der P. Dysart. 

32d: Senate, Isaac Rice; House, J. H. White, 
A. F. Brown, A. P. Dysart. 

.33d: Senate, Isaac Rice; House, E. B. Sum- 
ner, A. F. Brown, J. C. Seyster. 

34th: Senate, E. B. Sumner; House, A. F. 
Brown, David Hunter, E. M. Winslow. 

35th: Senate, E. B. Sumner; House, David 
Hunter, James P. Wilson, James Lamout. 

Seth: Senate, Benjamin F. Sheets; House, 
David Hunter, William H. Cox, Robert Simp- 

3Tth : Senate, Benjamin F. Sheets ; House. 
James P. Wilson, David Hunter, Prescott H. 

38th : Senate, David Hunter ; House, James 
P. Wilson, Prescott H. Talbott, Lars M. Nolinp. 

39th : Senate, David Hunter ; House, Lars M. 
Noling, C. Harry Woolsey, Victor H. Bovey. 

40th: Senate, Delos W. Baxter; House, Lars 
M. Xoling, Victor H. Bovey, Henry Andi'us. 

41st : Senate, Delos W. Baxter ; House, Lars 
M. Noling, Victor H. Bovey, Henry Andrus. 

41st : Senate, Delos W. Baxter ; House, Henry 
.A^ndrus, James A. Countryman, Frank S. Re- 

42d : Senate, Henry Andrus ; House, James 
A. Countryman, David Hunter, James P. Wilson. 

43d: Senate, Henry Andrus; House, Fred- 
erick Haines, Johnson Lawrence, .Tames P. Wil- 

44th: Senate, -\ndrew J. Anderson; House, 
Wilbur B. McHenry, Frederick Haines, Charles 
Edward Martin. 

45th; Senate, Andrew J. Anderson; House, 
Johnson Lawrence, Earl D. Reynolds, James H. 

46th: Senate, Henry Andrus; House, John- 
son Lawrence, Earl D. Reynolds, James H. Coch- 

Supreme Judge : 189.!i — James H. Cartwright, 
of Oregon. 

Circuit Judges : 1838-1830, Dan Stone, of Ga- 
lena; 18.39-42, Thomas Ford; 1842-47, John D. 
Caton, of Chicago; 1847-48, T. Lyle Dickey, of 

Ottawa; 1848-51, Benj. R. Sheldon, of Rock- 
ford ; 1851-55, Ira O. Wilkinson, of Rock Island ; 
lS5o-o7. J. Wilson Drury, (unknown) ; 1857-01, 
John V. Eustace, of Dixon; 1861-77, Wm. W. 
Heaton, of Dixon. In 1877 the State was divided 
by the General Assembly into thirteen judicial 
circuits, with three judges in each circuit. Ogle 
Count}- helped to make the thirteenth circuit. 
The judges who have served the thirteenth cir- 
cuit, and latc-r the fifteenth, where Ogle County 
was placed in 1900, and where it is included 
now, each of whom has presided over terms of 
court in Ogle County, are Wm. W. Heaton, Will- 
iam Brown, of Rockford, Joseph M. Bailey, of 
Freeport, John V. Eustace, James H. Cartwright, 
John D. Crabtree, of Dixon, and James Shaw, 
of Mount Carroll. The three judges now serving 
the fifteenth circuit are James Baume, of Ga- 
lena, R. S. Farrand, of Dixon, and Oscar E. 
Heard, of Freeport. 

Probate Justices: 1837-39, S. C. McCIure; 
18.39-43, William J. Mix; 1843-47, Philip R, Ben- 
nett; 1847^9, J. B. Cheney. 

County Judges: 1849-52, J. B. Cheney; 1852- 
54, S. Ruggles; 1854-56, E. Wood; 18.56-63, V. 
A. Bogue; 1865-69, J. M. Webb; 1869-72, A. 
Barnum; 1872-77. F. G. Petrie (first appointed, 
then elected); 1S77-S1, Albert Woodcock; 1881- 
91, George P. Jacobs; 1891-98, John D. Camp- 
bell : 1898, Frank E. Reed. 

Recorders: 1837-47, James V. Gale; 1847-49, 
John M. Hinkle. 

Circuit Clerks and Recorders: 1849-56, R. B. 
Light; 1850-60, M. W. Smith; 1860-72, F. G. 
Petrie; 1872-76, H. P. Lason ; 1877-84, E. K. 
Light; 1884-88, R. J. Sensor; 1888-1904, C. M. 
Gale; 1904, Jerville F. Cox. 

County Clerks: 1837-39, S. Galbraith; 1839- 
43, D. H. F. Moss ; 1843-47, H. A. Mix ; 1847-49, 
R. Cheney; 1849-53, John M. Hinkle; 1853-57. 
J. Sears; 18.57-61, E. K. Light; 18G1-67, Albert 
Woodcock ; 1877-82, George N. Hormell ; 1882-90, 
Henry P. Lason; 1890-1902, James C. Fesler; 
1902, Robert F. Adams. 

Sheriffs: 1837, W. W. Mudd; 1838-40, H. 
Wales; 1840-44. W. T. Ward; 3844-46. C. B. 
Artz ; 1846-50, E. W. Dutcher ; 1850-52, A. Helm ; 
1852-54, E. Baker; 1854-56. Charles Newcomer; 
1856-58, E. R. Tyler ; 1858-60, F. G. Petrie ; 1860, 
J. A. Hughes ; 1862. B. F. Sheets : 1862-64, C. R. 
Potter: 1864-60, J O'Kane; 1866-68. W. W. 
O'Kane; lSOS-70, B. R. Wagner; 1870-74, J. R. 



Petrie; 1874-82, H. C. Peek; 1882-84, F. H. 
Marsh; 1884-86. H. C. Peek; 1880-90, George 
Bishop; 1890-94, Charles H. Betebenner; 1894- 
98, Peter Good; 1898-02, George H. Andrew; 
1902-06, Joseph L. Slifer; 1906. Charles M. 

School Commissioners: 1843-46, S. St. John 
Mix ; 1847-50, N. W. Wadsworth ; 1851-54, D. J. 

County Superintendents of Schools : 1855-56, 
J. W. Frisbee ; 1857-58, A. B. Hard ; 1859-62, E. 
W. Little ; 1863-64, J. M. Sanford ; 1865-1877, E. 
L. Wells; 1878-82, John T Ray; 1882-86, Fer- 
nando Sanford ; 1886-87, Caroline R. Veasie ; 
1887 to October, 1887, S. B. Wadsworth; 1887- 
89, S. G. Mason; 1889-1903, Joseph M. Piper; 
1903-07, Emery I. Neff ; 1907, Anna B. Champion. 

Surveyors: 1837-39, Joseph Crawford; 1839- 
43, L. Parsons; 1843-46, J. Rice; 1846, H. 
Wheelock; 1847-51, R. B. Light; 1851-55, C. W. 
Joiner ; 1855-57, F. Chase ; 1857-59, A. Q. Allen ; 
1859-61, S. V. Pierce ; 1861-75, A. Q. Allen ; 1875- 
1908, J. B. Bertolet. 

At the session of the General Assembly of 
1907, the Township Local Option Law was en- 
acted. This declared the territory to vote upon 
the question of license or no license for the 
sale of intoxicating drinks should be the town- 
ship, Instead of the village, or city, as before. 
The law gave new impetus to the temperance 
cause. It was believed that, with the help of 
the voters from the country, many towns which 
had before granted license would now refuse it. 
Besides, the feeling drunkenness and 
drink, and especially the saloon, had grown of 
lute years. Added to the moral issues involved, 
there had come to be a commercial side to the 
matter. Railroad companies and other corpo- 
rations and employers had been making stringent 
rules against the drink habit on the part of their 
workmen. Many saloons had become the prop- 
erty of the brewers, who, as absentee owners, 
defied the law with impunity, while they car- 
ried away the profits of a disreputable but gain- 
ful occupation. 

Meetings were held and a campaign of edu- 
cation entered upon, with speeches by men well 
informed upon what had been accomplished else- 
where, especially in the South, and by means of 
convincing literature, with such success that 
when the voice of the people became known after 
the counting of the ballots, only two townships 
in the county favored the saloon — Maryland and 

Forrestou. The new municipal housekeeping be- 
gan on May 1, 1908. 




Revolutionary War Memorials. — On June 
27, 1908, the memorial stone marking the grave 
of Rufus Phelps, a soldier of the Revolutionary 
War, was dedicated. Mr. Phelps was born in 
1767, was wounded in the struggle for American 
Independence, and died at the home of his son, 
John Benjamin Phelps, in White Rock, Ogle 
County, 111., in 1859, at the advanced age of 92 
years. He was buried in Lindenwood Cemetery, 
where, in charge of the Rockford Chapter of 
the Daughters of the American Revolution, the 
dedicatory services were held. Col. Frank O. 
Lowdeu delivered the address and the W. C. 
Baker Post G. A. R., of Stillman Valley, and the 
Woman's Relief Corps, participated in the exer- 
cises. About one thousand people were in at- 
tendance. The following is his oflicial war rec- 
ord : "Rufus Phelps alleges in his application 
for bounty land that he enlisted for six months 
in Dutchess County, N. Y., and in a few days 
left for Green Bush, thence to Fort Herkimer, 
and was stationed at the last named place until 
he was wounded and in consequence of which 
he was discharged by Col. Willet." Mr. Phelps 
could not recall the name of his captain and the 
date of his service is not given, but his land 
claim was granted upon hearsay testimony. The 
memorial in his honor was erected through the 
patriotic efforts of Mrs. Joseph Sheaff, of Hol- 
comb. Ogle County. Mrs. Sheaff is a member of 
the Rockford Chapter of the Daughters of the 
American Revolution. 

Another Revolutionary soldier's name is re- 
corded on the Soldiers' Monument placed a few 
years ago in the Cemetery at Daysville, through 


the assiduous efforts of Virgil E. Reed and the 
late Dr. H. A. Mix. This record reads : "Daniel 
Day, in two years' service in Revolutionary 
War ; the first buried in the Daysville Cemetery, 
1838." Daniel Day was the father of Col. Jehiel 
Day, a pioneer and the founder of Daysville. 
The father came to Ogle County during 1837, 
making his home with his son, but not living 
iong after arrival. 

Veterans of the Wab of 1812. — John Phelps, 
one of the earliest of the pioneers of Ogle County, 
and a soldier in the War of 1812. who took part 
in the campaign in the vicinitj- of New Orleans 
In 1814-15, was born in Bedford County, Va., 
August 8, 1796, and died in Ogle County, 111., 
April 1, 1S74. In January, 1864, he began writ- 
ing an autobiography, the neat manuscript of 
which is preserved in the family of the late T. 
Oscar Johnson, son of the daughter of Mr. 
Phelps, who gave to the city of Oregon its sec- 
ond name. This Autobiography has several times 
been published in the county ; in recent years 
by the Ogle County Repuhlican, the Tri-Oounty 
Press, and the Mount Mon-is Index. Just before 
his decease, Mr. Phelps received a letter from 
the Secretary of the State Historical Society of 
Wisconsin, relative to securing it in book form, 
for the archives of that State, but Mr. Phelps 
died ere it was accomplished. In this Autobi- 
ography he relates the stirring experiences of 
his connection with this war. 

On the Monument in the Daysville Cemetery 
is this record : "Silas Hawthorne, served as 
musician in War of 1812." Mrs. John Rutledge 
and Mr. Joseph Hawthorne are surviving chil- 
dren of this war veteran, now living in Oregon. 

Col. Jehiel Day is also recorded on this monu- 
ment as serving in the War of 1812. Col. Day 
was also a Colonel of Militia while living In 
New Hampshire. He came to Ogle County in 
1836, purchasing a claim from Austin Williams, 
returning the next year with his family to make 
his home upon it. 

The names of Major William J. Mix and Dr. 
William J. Mix are recorded on the Daysville 
Monument as serving in the War of 1812. Dr. 
Mix was Assistant Surgeon at the time of the 
Battle of Plattsburg in September, 1814, and his 
father commanded a company in the same battle. 
Later he was commissioned as Surgeon of the 
One Hundred and Seventh Pennsylvania Militia 
in 1828, serving until 1835, about which time he 

and his son came to the Rock River Valley. 
He entered upon the practice of his profession 
at Oregon, in 1836, and was one of the first estab- 
lished physicians in the county. He was the . 
father of the late Dr. H. A. Mix, and grand- 
father of Dr. George M. McKenney, Mrs. C. M. 
Gale and Mrs. George H. Hopkins, of Oregon. 

The name of Mathew Bailey is on the Days- 
ville Monument as being in the War of 1812. 
He was born in Ireland, and came from Ohio to 
Illinois, settling with his family in Nashua 
Township sometime during 1836. 

The name of Lewis Hormell is placed on this 
monument, too, though his burial place is else- 

Ellas Reed, who came to Buffalo Grove July 15, 
1838, was also a soldier in the War of 1812. 

John Ankuey, who came to Buffalo Grove be- 
fore the time of the Black Hawk War, originally 
from Somerset County, had, in 1815. raised a 
c-ompany there, was commissioned its Captain, 
and ordered into camp. Soon after this the war 
ended, and he saw no service. 

On the Soldiers' Monument at Byron the 
names of six soldiers of the War of 1812 are 
inscribed, namely : J. Bull, A. Netrow, I. Norton, 
A. Hewitt, L. Smith, I. N. Gaston. 


Grim-visaged War saw the front of battle first 
lower on the prairies of Illinois before a regi- 
ment of American soldiers when Col. George 
Rogers Clark, in 1778, after a gallant march of 
a thousand miles across the untrodden wilder- 
ness, with fine strategy and the avoidance of 
bloodshed, achieved the surrender of the British 
and took possession of the Illinois Country for 
Virginia ; and the last time when Gov. John 
Reynolds, in 1832, raised an army to drive from 
the borders of the State the remnant of a people 
whose home the land had been from a period 
when the memory of man runneth not to the 
contrary. The history of the one is read with 
satisfaction; of the other with regret. The true 
narrative of the Black Hawk War is searched 
in vain for the necessity that impelled, the pa- 
triotism that counseled, or the glory that ac- 
companied it: unless, indeed, one is thinking 
of the Red Men. The first act in that short, 
but bloody, drama was performed upon the un- 
scarred soil of Ogle County. 

By their treaty of 1804, negotiated by William 
Henrv Harrison, then Governor of Indiana Ter- 


ritory, which then included Illinois, whose north- 
ern boundary was Canada, the Sacs and Fox 
Indians ceded to the Federal Government all 
the territory between the Wisconsin River on the 
north, the Fox on the east and southeast, and 
the Mississippi on the west as far south as Rock 
Island, then Fort Armstrong. A stipulation dis- 
tinctly stated, however, that so long as the land 
remained the property of the United States — 
that is, so long as it was not sold to private 
owners — "the Indians belonging to said tribes 
shall enjoy the privilege of living or hunting" 
thereon. Before the Government had parted 
with the land— even before it had been sur- 
veyed — squatters violated the treaty by driving 
off the Indian women and children, and destroy- 
ing the property of the Indians, pasturing their 
corn, killing their cattle and burning their lodges. 
Then, no sooner had the Government sold a few 
quarter sections at the mouth of Rock River, 
and none elsewhere, than demand was made that 
the Indians give up the country and remain 
west of the Mississippi, as if that were in ac- 
cordance with the treaty. 

The new treaty of 18.31 need not be consid- 
ered, because when Black Hawk and the other 
chiefs of the Sacs did not come to Fort Arm- 
strong to sign it, as made out to suit the white 
settlers. General Gaines sent word that if the 
chiefs did not come he would go after them with 
his army, whereupon Black Hawk and twenty- 
eight of the tribe came and "touched the goose 
quill" to the aocument. The treaty of 1804 was 
the only me of any binding force, and even in 
that tne extensive territory ceded (15,000,000 
acres) was parted with for the mere pittance of 
$2,500 in goods and $1,000 in money annually 
in pei-petuity, so that — if, as Black Hawk said, 
the chiefs who signed It were held in duress, 
were without orders from their tribes, and were 
Intoxicated from whisky furnished them by their 
white brothers — even that treaty's legality dis- 
appears in the fraud which surrounded its exe- 

The fact of Black Hawk taking with him his 
women, children and old men did not look like 
going to war. But disquieting reports were 
abroad. Governor Reynolds was appealed to for 
troops. He bpc.imc alarmed and responded ac- 
cordingly. Eighteen hundred volunteers assem- 
bled at Beardstown under the command of Gen- 
eral 'miiteside of the State militia, who marche(' 
to Fort Armstrong, where he and General Atkin- 

son of the regular army decided that General 
WTiiteside should continue by land to Prophet's 
Town and there wait for Atkinson, who would 
come by boat with the regulars and all the artil- 
lery and provisions. Arriving at Prophet's Town, 
Whiteside burned the deserted Indian village 
and, instead of waiting as agreed, continued on 
up the State to Dixon's Ferry, where he halted 
to form a junction with Generol Atkinson. Here 
he found 275 more volunteers from McLean, 
Tazewell, Peoria and Fulton Counties, under the 
command of Majors Stiuman and Bailey. Gov- 
ernor Ford says : "The oIBcers of this force 
V)egged to be put forward upon some dangerous 
service in which they could distinguish them- 
selves. To gratify them they were ordered up 
Rock River to spy out the Indians " 

Major Stillman began the reconnoissance on 
May loth and proceeded t^-enty-six miles up the 
east bank of Rock River without discovering 
the foe. They were at Old Man's Creek and 
were about to go into camp for the night, when 
three unarmed Indians bearing a white flag ap- 
peared. They came from Black Hawk. who. with 
forty of his warriors, was encamped on Syca- 
more Creek, three miles farther on, while the 
remainder of his band, together with the Potta- 
watomies and the women and children, were 
encamped on the Kishwaukee, seven miles dis- 
tant. Black Hawk, supposing that the whole of 
General Atkinson's command had overtaken him, 
and being unable to make allies of the Potta- 
watomies, had decided, as he claimed, to return 
west of the Mississippi, and sent the trio under 
the white flag to arrange a parley, with fl;-_' 
ethers to watch at a distance and report the re- 
sult, the latter being mounted. 

The truce bearers were made prisoners ; then 
Stillmen's men saw the five riders appear 
Mounting their horses, a number of them rushea 
forward, without orders, to "kill Injuns," the 
fun some of the volunteers had enlisted for. 
The Indians retreated, followed in hot pursuit 
by the whlt# soldiers, who fired upon them, and, 
with better horses, were overtaking them, when 
from ambush behind trees and bushes, Black 
Hawk and his band opened fire. Several of the 
piu-suers fell, mortally wounded. Their ad- 
vance was cheeked, then turned into a retreat; 
which presently became a rout. Majors Still- 
man, Bailey and other officers endeavored to 
rally the now panic-stricken men, but to no 
purpose. They continued on in their mad flight. 



nor stopped until they reached Dixon's Ferry, 
twenty-sis miles distant, or their homes many 
more miles away. 

Gov. Ford, in his History of Illinois, tells a 
readable story of this event — largely imagina- 
tive but bombastic in style — as told by a Ken- 
tuckian and Colonel of militia who was serving 
as a private with Stillman, but claimed to be 
the sole sun'ivor of a fierce battle waged against 
overwhelming numbers of Indians. The hero 
of this story is also described as "a lawyer, just 
returning from the circuit with a slight ward- 
robe and Chitty's Pleadings packed in his sad- 
dle bags, all of which were captured by the 
Indians," and it is added, "he afterwards re- 
lated with much vexation, that Black Hawk had 
decked himself out In 7n'.s finery, appearing In 
the wild woods among his savage companions, 
dressed in one of the Colouers ruffled shirts 
drawn over his deer-skin leggings, with a volume 
of Chitty's Pleadings under each arm." 

But to return to the true history : When those 
who had not joined in the attack realized that 
a battle was on, they killed one of the bearers 
of the white flag ; the other two escaped. To 
make prisoners of the two envoys of peace and 
then to massacre one of their number, was con- 
duct as atrocious as rushing to battle without 
orders was unmilitary. It disgraced the bat- 
talion to w'hich the perpetrators belonged, and 
was the first of a series of atrocities that chiefly 
made up the war, but which occurred outside of 
Ogle County, and need not be narrated here. 
It is said that Stillman's men had with them 
a barrel of whisky and that many of them 
were drunk. In that case no further explana- 
tion need be sought. The panic is not a matter 
of surprise. The men were volunteers without 
training or experience, and it takes a well dis- 
ciplined army to withstand an Indian ambus- 
cade. But, of course, Major Stillman's men did 
not escape ridicule. The next day General At- 
kinson went forward and buried the dead, of 
whom there were eleven, while the Indian loss 
was two. Old Man's Creek has since that time 
been known as Stillman's Run. 

The perfidy of the volunteer soldiery aroused 
Black Hawk to the fiercest indignation, and, 
tearing the white flag to pieces, he vowed ven- 
geance. Soon after occurred the Indian Creek 
massacre in LaSalle County. On May 19th, 
Sergeant Fred Stahl, of Galena, accompanied by 
privates William Durley, Redding Bennett, Vin- 

cent Smith and James Smith, left Galena for 
Dixon's Ferry with despatches for General At- 
kinson. They fell Into an Indian ambuscade 
at Buffalo Grove, immediately north of where 
Polo now is. Durley was killed, and Stahl and 
James Smith had their clothes pierced by bullets, 
but were uninjured. The four returned to 

On June 25th, the vanguard of General Po- 
sey's brigade, commanded by Major John De- 
ment, of Galena, afterward of Dixon, encoun- 
tered a party of Indians at Kellogg's Grove, in 
the neighborhood of where Brookville now is. 
There was a sharp engagement. Major Dement 
lost four men dnd twenty horses, and the In- 
dians nine of their warriors. General Posey, 
from his camp at Buffalo Grove, hastened to 
Dement's relief, but the Indians had retreated. 
The brigade continued on to their objective point. 
Fort Hamilton, north of Galena. Some years 
ago, Colonel Dement, in an address before the 
old settlei-s of Ogle County, recounted the above 
battle. A. C. Bardwell. of Dixon, iu his history 
of Lee County, speaking of this event, says: 
"From Dixon the battalion moved on to Kel- 
logg's Grove, where a desperate battle was 
fought with a band of mounted Indians, stripped 
to the skin and in their war paint, under the 
command of Black Hawk In person. ... In 
the annals of Indian warfare, few engage- 
ments of small numbers will be found more des- 
perate and bloody." 

Nothing else of interest occurred within the 
limits of Ogle County. At that time Dixon's 
Ferr.v, Old Man's Creek, Buffalo and Kellogg's 
(Jroves were all in the same county — Jo Daviess. 
Among the militiamen who assembled at Dixon's 
Ferry was Abraham Lincoln, first as Captain 
of one of the companies and afterwards as pri- 
vate in another ; while among the soldiers of 
the regular army were Lieutenant Robert An- 
derson (Commander of Fort Sumter at the out- 
break of the Civil War, 1S61), Colonel Zachary 
Taylor (President of the United States in 
tS49-."iO). to whom Lieutenant .lefferson Davis 
(President of the Southern Confederacy, 1861- 
6.5) was acting as aid, and General Winfield 
Scott, who had come from Fortress Monroe to 
Fort Armstrong, with nine companies of infantry. 
In the unprecedented time of eighteen days, be- 
side fighting the cholera enroute. 

The war ended with the battle of Bad Axe, 
in Wisconsin, and the practical extermination 


of the Sac tribe of Indians. It was the old 
story over. The Indians had endeavored to re- 
sist the eueroachmeut of the white man, and 
had lost. Black Hawk was captured. He was 
then sixty-five years old. William A. Meese, 
Esq., of Jloline, 111., an enthusiastic" student of 
Illinois history and interesting writer thereof, 
portraying Black Hawk in his volume, "Early 
Rock Island," says : "After losing his village and 
lands, after defeat in war, when but few of his 
people had escaped the white man's bullet, after 
being held as prisoner for some months, upon his 
1 Please and restoration to freedom, this savage 
who fought for his country said to one of his con- 
querors : 'Rock River was a beautiful country. 
I like my towns, my corn fields and the home of 
my people. I fought for it ; it is now yours. It 
will produce you good crops.' What white man 
could say more? Black Hawk was truly the last 
defender of IlUnms." 


The State of Illinois sent six regiments to assist 
in this conflict. Ogle County, then so recently 
settled, furnished but few volunteers, though pro- 
bably more than are here recorded. Two young 
men from Daysville were among the number who 
enlisted — Frank Keyes and Aaron Baldwin. A 
nephew of the first-named is now living in Ore- 
gon. Young Baldwin, who was a clerk in the 
store of William J. Mix, at Daysville, at the time, 
is said to have enlisted on account of an unfor- 
tunate love affair, and never came back. On the 
Daysville Monument appears the record, "Ben- 
jamin F. Keyes. in Mexican War." 

Lewis Hormell, of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, 
in later life a resident of Oregon, 111., was a Cap- 
tain in this war, commanding Company C, First 
Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served thirteen 
months, participating in the capture of Monterey. 
In 1S52, he came to Illinois from Ohio and located 
at Oregon, where he was engaged in mercantile 
business from 1852 to 1873. He died in 1891, 
leaving surviving him three sons and three 
daughters, of whom those now residing in Ore- 
.iron are Cornelius, Mrs. B. F. Sheets. ;ina Miss 
Matilda Hormell. The two daughters have In 
their possession the dress uniform which their 
father wore during his service in the army, and 
which has been worn a number of times, fur- 
nishing an attractive feature of festive gather- 
ings and ijublic occasions in Oregon. 

Simon Rigle, who for some time resided with 

his widowed daughter, Mrs. Sarah Ellis, in Ore- 
gon, was a veteran of the Mexican War enlisting 
from Pennsylvania, and also .served in the Civil 
War. He died in May, 1908, at the Soldiers' 
Home, Danville, 111. 


Illinois has nobly remembered her soldiers of 
this war. In "Patriotism of Illinois," published 
in 1865 (two volumes), by Rev. T. M. Eddy, D. 
D., then editor of the Northwestern Christian 
Advocate, in Chapter XXXV., Vol. I., appears the 
following : 

"In the dingy capitol at Springfield, is the Ad- 
jutant-General's office, where are documents 
which will be searched in days to come by the 
historian, the annalist, the lawyer. 

"Entering a room about forty feet square, you 
see double rows of desks, and peering above each 
is a head variously colored. The clerks are hard 
at work preserving the facts of our Illinois regi- 
ments. In those pigeon holes are documents 
which, in court official style, tell of many a deed 
of daring, and many a weary march. In the cas- 
ualty reports are enshrined the names of those 
who have received wounds or died the soldier's 
death in the field ! These 'Descriptive Rolls' tell 
you the place and date of birth, place and date 
of enlistment, height in feet and inches, color of 
hair and eyes of each soldier. They state when 
enlisted, when discharged ; and, when completed, 
will tell the story of wounds and death. We 
doubt if any office is more exact in the arrange- 
ment of these details. The best models — Ameri- 
can, English and Continental — ^were consulted, 
and a combined system adopted, covering all the 

Ogle County has well and loyally preserved 
the records of her "soldier boys!" WJien the 
new Court House at Oregon was built in 1892, 
the third floor was set apart as a Memorial Hall, 
and on its walls are inscribed in compact monu- 
mental form, the names and places of belonging 
of all in the Union Army from Ogle County who, 
both on land and sea, served the Nation in its 
hour of need. The county owes the placing of 
this military record to the patriotic suggestion 
of Mr. John Franklin Spalding, at that time the 
Supervisor from Byron Township who had gen- 
eral charge of this memorial work. This mural 
remembrance has been characterized by a dis- 
tinguished American sculptor as one of the finest 
and most original of its kind ever executed. The 



Board of Supervisors have been considering a 
plan for placing a corrected and more complete 
list of Ogle County soldiers on bronze tablets 
set in the walls of Jlemorial Hall, but the prep- 
aration of this list has not yet been so far com- 
pleted as to make it available for this work. 

The Hall is placed in charge of the G. A. R. 
of Oregon, and in it are held the meetings of this 
organization and of the Woman's Relief Corps, 
and it is the headquarters of gatherings of the 
soldiers and sailors of the county. It was here 
that was held the Twentieth Annual Reunion 
of the Soldiers and Sailors of Northwestern Ill- 
inois, taking place at Oregon, September 7 and 8, 
1904. Among the veterans present and taking 
part in the exercises was Gen. O. O. Howard, at 
different times of the Army of the Potomac and 
of the Tennessee, who gave "the boys" and as- 
sembled citizens a glowing, reminiscent talk 
about "war-times." His signature upon the reg- 
ister of that reunion is preserved with pride by 
the Oregon Post, G. A. R. A speech was also 
made by the Hon. Frederick Landis, Congress- 
man from Indiana. It was during this reunion, 
and with the assistance of the veterans, that the 
Lincoln boulder, set by the Oregon Woman's 
Council, was dedicated. 

War Statistics of Ogle Codntt. — The Report 
of the Adjutant-General of Illinois for iSG.5 fur- 
nishes a complete roster of the officers and pri- 
vate soldiers who served in the various regi- 
ments, and other military organizations, from the 
several counties of the State during the Civil 
War. Among the most noted names was that 
of Gen. U. S. Grant who, coming from the neigh- 
boring county of -Jo Daviess, occupied success- 
ively the positions of Colonel, Brigadier-General, 
Major-Geueral and Lieutenant-General, and fin- 
ally as President, while eleven other Illinoisans 
held the rank of Major-Generals, twent,v-four 
that of Brigadier-Generals, and scores retired 
from the service with the rank of Major-Gen- 
erals and Brigadier-Generals by brevet, including 
among the latter Gen. Benjamin F. Sheets, of 

Quotas and Credits. — According to the census 
of 1860, the population of Ogle County was 22,- 
863, while the enrollment, quotas and credits 
of the county for military service during the 
war period, according to the Adjutant-General's 
Report, were as follows : 

First and Second Class Enrollment— (186.S), 

3,709; (1804), 3,815; Revised enrollment (1865), 

Quotas and Credits. — The total quotas for 
service under the various calls for troops prior 
to December 31, 1864, amounted to 2,509, while 
the credits for enlistments during the same 
period were 2,445, leaving a deficit for the county 
of 65. The net quota of 480 for 1865 increased 
the total for the entire war period to 2,989, the 
credits during the latter year being increased 
by 508, making a total credit of 2,953, and leav- 
ing a net deficit for the same period of 36. 

The number of ix»rsons subject to military 
duty (i.e. between the ages of 18 and 45), ac- 
cording to the census of 1865. was 3,222, from 
wl:ich it will be seen that the county had fur- 
nished enlistments during the war period with- 
in 269 of the whole number subject to military 
duty during the last year of the war. 

T''e expenditures of the county during the 
same period, in connection with cost of the war, 
were as follows : Bounties, $385,491.33 ; for Sol- 
diers' Families. .?.35.827.13.— Total, .?42] .318.46. 

Me. John Sharp's Recollections. — Mr. John 
Sharp, who is quoted elsewhere in this history, 
has. by special request of the editor.?, contributed 
Ills personal recollections of these bounty mat- 
ters, which are as follows : 

"In the country's war history it may be noted 
that a large sum of money was appropriated by 
the Supervisors, and also by some of the various 
townships in the county, as an additional bounty 
to encourage enlistment in the army. In a for- 
mer history of the county the total of such ap- 
propriations was given at $223..306, but this was 
manifestly an underestimate. In this was in- 
cluded .$120,070 by the county and $43,236 from 
five townships, viz : Flagg, Nashua, Buffalo, 
Scott, White Rock, an estimate of $60,000 from 
the balance of the townships. To my own knowl- 
edge there were several other townships that 
made appropriations. Among these were : Rock- 
vale, Maryland, Pine Creek, Leaf River and, I 
think, Pine Rock and Forreston. 

"As the war neared its end, a supreme effort 
was made by the President to increase the army, 
and this ultimately re.sulted in a draft being 
made. At no time during the war was Ogle 
County behind in furnishing its full quota of 
soldiers, but, in fixing the draft districts, town- 
ship lines were ignored and three districts were 



made, running from north to south, the divis- 
ion lines, I think, being the boundaries between 
the townships of Maryhind, Mt. Morris, Pine 
•Creeli, Grand Detour and Taylor, Nashua, Ore- 
gon, Rockvale and Leaf River, and those of 
Byron, Pine Rock, Lafayette, Flagg, White Rock 
-and Scott. The westerly and easterly of these 
•districts were fortunate in having more than 
their quota already in the army. The center 
district was two short and a draft was ordered. 
The cause of this was that the town of Mary- 
land was two behind, and a peculiar result was 
that one of these was drawn from Grand De- 
tour, which was largely ahead, and the other, 
I think, from Mount Morris, which had also fur- 
nished its full quota. 

"When it was found that there was to be a 
draft, but before the number was announced, 
there was much scurrying about to prevent a 
draft, some wanting to bond the county for the 
money needed, but this failed, and what bond- 
ing was done was borne by the towns. I think 
that, by counting the total sums raised by the 
county and townships, and adding to these the 
large amount contributed liy individuals in 
bonuses, equipments, etc., the total amount would 
reach fully .$4.50,000. 

"During the time intervening between the 
announcement for a draft until it actually oc- 
curred, the Board of Supervisors was convened 
and a proposition was made that the county be 
bonded for money sufficient to pay bounties to 
procure the necessarj- men to fill the quota fixed. 
This project failed because the announcement 
was made that the draft would be confined to 
the center district, and what bounties were 
raised were by townships. 

"Not all of the money raised for bounties was 
for the purpose of escaping the draft. Several 
towns voluntarily raised money to aid in filling 
the quotas required long before a draft was 
ordered. In fact, most of the large sums raised 
for these purposes were contributed by patriotic 
men whose only purpose was to aid in the prose- 
cution of the war." 


Always noted for their patriotism in times of 
the Nation's need. Ogle County's sons, in the 
spring of 1898, were quick to offer their ser- 
vices and lives, if need be. to uphold the Nation's 
honor. When the call to arms came, there was 
organized and recruited to its full capacity. 

Company M, Third Infantry, at Rochelle, under 
the leadership of Captain Edward A. Ward 
(now deceased) and Lieutenants George W. 
Dicus and William F. Hackett. The call came 
near the hour of midnight, April 26th, Captain 
Ward receiving a telegram from Adjutant Gen- 
eral Reece, which read: "Assemble your Com- 
pany at once and proceed by rail to the rendez- 
vous at Springfield, prepared for war." The 
Company was composed mainly of young men 
from Rochelle and Oregon, but numbered among 
Its members a score of the flower of De Kalb's 
young manhood. A number of Ogle's men served 
in other companies and regiments, and each 
added to the honorable record made by her sons 
in the War with Mexico and that great conflict 
of 1861 to 1865. 

Company M. Third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, 
was sworn into the United States service in the 
Exposition Building at the State Fair Grounds, 
at Springfield, 111., at 8:30 o'clock on the even- 
mg of May 7, 1898, being the first full regiment 
taking the oath in the Spanish-American War, 
and departed with the regiment on the evening 
of May 14th, for the general rendezvous at 
Camp Thomas, Chickamauga, Ga. The regiment 
was a.ssigned to the First Brigade, First Divis- 
ion. First Army Corps, commanded by General 
John R. Brooke, and was the first regiment 
chosen to accompany Gen. Brooke on the Porto 
Rican campaign. After a thorough training at 
Camp Thomas, the First Division departed for 
Newport News en July 22d, and five days later 
embarked for the Island of Porto Rico, the Third 
Infantry being conveyed to the front by the 
cruiser St. Louis, as the personal escort of Gen- 
eral Brooke. The expedition arrived at Ponce 
harbor on the evening of August 1st, and during 
the night, convoyed by the Battleship Massachu- 
setts, the Cruisers Columbia and Cincinnati, and 
the little Gloucester, departed for Arroyo, forty 
miles distant, which point was reached at an 
early hour. The port of Arroyo, which was de- 
fended by a garrison of infantry, cavalry, and a 
number of field guns, was bombarded by the 
ships named, aided by the cruisers St. Louis and 
St, Paul, and under the fire of these guns, the 
regiment, in command of Col. Fred Bennett, was 
lauded by means of small boats, after a brief 
resistance by the Spanish forces, with the loss 
of but one man of Company K, who was killed a 
few moments after landing. On August 5th 
the Spanish were pushed into and through the 



city of Guayania, nine miles distant, and from 
thence into the adjacent mountains, after a 
spirited engagement, the Third Infantry support- 
ing the Fourth Ohio, Later, on August 8th, 
several companies of the Fourth Ohio were am- 
bushed in the Cayey Mountains and were sup- 
ported by the Third Illinois, the Fourth Ohio 
losing 21 men wounded. On August 13th, the 
First Division departed on a campaign for a 
general move toward San Juan, and were as- 
signed to positions before the works of the 
enemy, who were strongly intrenched on the top 
of Ca.vey Mountain, when, just as the word was 
given by the Commanding General for the open- 
ing of the engagement, a courier arrived with 
word that a protocol had been signed, and the 
war was at an end. The post of honor, the 
making of the initial assault, had been assigned 
to the Third Illinois, but the opportunity to 
show- their mettle was denied them. 

During this short but decisive conflict the 
sons of Ogle played such part as was assigned 
them with honor and credit, and, without doubt, 
if they had been called upon to do so, would 
have added to the gloi-y of the State and their 
county, as did their predecessors In the conflict 
of 18G1-G5. 

A number of the sons of Ogle held posts of 
responsibility and honor during the Spanish 
AVar, among them being Lieut. George W. Dicus, 
who was appointed Ordnance Ofiicer of the 
Third Illinois, May 11th, and, besides equipping 
the regiment for its term of service, handled the 
ordnance for the Porto Rican campaign, and to- 
gether with Private Martin Lindaas, while in 
command of the outposts, was commended in 
General Orders by Gen. Brooke for services 
rendered in t!ie capture of a spy near the 
enemy's lines. Lieut. Dicus was also given the 
honor, by Gen. Peter C. Haines, of placing the 
flag of truce opposite the enemy's works on 
Ca.vey Mountain. 

The regiment embarked for home on the good 
ship Roumania on the evening of November 2d. 
reaching New York ten days later after a stormy 
vo.vage. During the forenoon of November 1-tth, 
they arrived in Chicago and were there given a 
banquet at the Great Northern Hotel by Col. 
John Lambert of De Kalb, the barb-wire magnate 
and a close friend of Col. Bennett. Upon their 
arrival home they were given a warm wel- 
come and a banquet at the Presbyterian church. 
Col. B. F. Sheets delivering the address of wel- 

come, followed by Rev. R. H. Nye, Attoniey 
Horace G. Kauffman. Attorney Franc Bacon. 
Rev. F. L. Baldwin, Corporal R. F. Nye, Rev. 
J. K. Reed and Judge J. H. Cartwright, the ad- 
dresses being intersiiersed by patriotic music. 

Following is a list of the soldiers who com- 
Iiosed Company M. Third Regiment: 

E. A. '^Vard, G. W. Dieu.s, W. F. Haekett. J. F. 
linger, H. S. Bain, J. M. Bearmore, J. H. Carroll. 
R. B. Longwell, A. G. Baker, A. M. Lind, H. J. 
O'Brien, C. E. Hakes, R. F. Nye, H. Beader- 
stadt. C. C. Currier, A. Esheim. A. Forsemen. 
M. Holland, O. J. Johnson, E. W. Jordan, A. W. 
Keane, N. C. Korber. M. Lindaas, P. Mallory. 

F. E. McDermott, W. J. JIcElroy, J. W. Mc- 
Mahon. V. S. Mead, H. Miller, A. O. Moore, H. 
Woodrick, F. Tilton, O. D. Talbot, C. M. Hays. 
J. W. Kendal], C. Eyster. F. D. Morrison, R. J. 
Allen. B. F. Bontley, H. J. Brien. F. L. Beaman. 

G. Brown. R. Carrenduff. T^. G. Crandall, A. E. 
Darling, B. H. Newcomer, J. Oleson, M. J. Pat- 
terson. B. M. Pool, E. S. Rae, T. L. Schade, C. 
W. Sanford, J. E. Smith, E. Southwood, C. 'V\'. 
Sweeney, L. B. Tilton. R. S. Vetos. C. J. Orner, 
F. A. Newcomer. A. J. Elmer. E. JIvers. 






While it is not found practicable in this volume 
to enter into a more detailed history of the 
Black Hawk AVar, than is presented in the pre- 
ceding chapter, it is appropriate that some space 
should be given to some events of that period 
connected with Ogle County territory. This is 
especially true of two tragic incidents, one of 
them occurring on Ogle County soil and the 
other near Its border — then in Jo Daviess 
Count.v, of which Ogle County at that time 
formed a part — and both closely connected 
with each other and almost marking the begin- 
ning of the Indian struggle of 1832. 



The first of these events was the murder ou the 
19th of May. 18:32— just five days after the Still- 
man defeat — of William Durley, who had been 
sent from Galena by Col. James JI. Strode, with 
a party of three other men under command of 
Sergeant Fred Stahl — making five in all — to com- 
municate with Gen. Atlvinson, then in command 
of the regular troops, in reference to the situa- 
tion. While Stahl's party was passing Buffalo 
Grove about where the city of Polo now stands, 
on the way to Dixon for the puriwse of meeting 
-itlvinson, it was fired upon by a baud of am- 
buscaded Indians and Durley instantly killed, the 
rest of the party escaping and returning to Ga- 
lena. Durley was a miner and lived between 
Galena and Apple River. 

The second incident of this series of tragedies 
occurred five days after the killing of Durley, 
when Felix St. Yraiu, then Indian Agent of the 
Sacs and Foxes, was attacked and treacherously 
murdered by a band of Sac Indians, a few miles 
from the spot where Durley fell, and the day 
after he had.buried Durley"s body. A party eon 
sisting of Aaron Hawley. John Fowler. Thomas 
Kenney. William Hale. Aquilla Flo.vd and Alex- 
ander Higginbotham. who had been in Sangamon 
County for the purpose of buying cattle, left 
Dixon on the morning of May 22d on their way 
to Galena, but finding Durloy's body on the trail, 
returned to Dixon with intelligence of their dis- 
covery. Gen. Atkinson, who had just arrived at 
Dixon, at once detailed St. Vrain to proceed to 
Galena with the party, and thence to carry dis- 
patches down the river to Fort Armstrong (Rock 
Island). Besides being Indian Agent. St. Vrain. 
who was a native, of St. Louis and of French 
extraction, was held in high esteem by the In- 
dians and had been called a "brother" by "Little 
Bear," who afterward led the band which became 
his murderer.s. The St. Vrain party left Dixon's 
Ferry on the 2.Sd, and proceeding to Buffalo 
Grove, found the remains of Durley, which they 
buried about a rod from the spot where he fell. 
Then, after proceeding about ten miles on their 
way toward Fort Hamilton, the home of William 
S. Hamilton, who was a son of the illustrious 
.\lexander Hamilton (see sketch in the "Histori- 
cal Encyclopedia" part of this work), the party 
encamped for the night. Early next morning they 
marched some three miles toward their destina- 
tion, when they stopped for breakfast. Then 
starting again, after proceeding about a mile, 
they were met by a band of thirty Sacs under 

command of "Little Bear." At first St. Vrain 
regarded the meeting as fortunate, but on ap- 
proaching the Indians, his offers of peace were 
spurned in spite of "Little Bear's" professed 
friendship. It is claimed that Black Hawk had 
plotted St. Vraiu's death and that this band had 
been sent out to execute his purpose. 

It being evident from the temper shown by the 
Indians and their superior numbers, that the only 
l:ope of safety for St. Vrain and his partj- depend- 
ed upon escape by the aid of their horses, this 
was attempted, but firing by the Indians at once 
began. Fowler was the first to fall, St. Vrain a 
little later and Hale about three-quartei-s of a 
mile from the place of meeting. After .scalping 
their victims, the savage marauders cut off the 
hands and feet of St. Vrain, and took out his 
heart, which they cut in pieces aud distributed 
among the "braves" in order that they might 
boast that they had eaten the heart of a brave 
white man. Then renewing the pursuit, Hawley 
was killed, making three victims of the original 
party besides St. Vrain. While Hawley's body, was 
never found, the evidence of his fate was furnish- 
ed by the finding of his coat in the ix)Ssession of 
Black Hawk. The three survivors, though en- 
countering other bands of Indians, and being 
closely pursued, after hiding in forests and other- 
wise evading their pursuers, finally reached Ga- 
lena on the morning of the third day. The kill- 
ing of St. Vrain and his companions occurred on 
the morning of May 24th, but their bodies were 
not recovered until the Sth of June when they 
were buried about four miles south of Kellogg's 
Grove, now known as Timmis Grove, in Kent 
Township, Stephenson County, and near the 
northwest corner of Ogle County. It was through 
letters from St. Vrain addressed to Gen. William 
Clark, Superintendent of Indian Affairs at St. 
Louis, in May, 1831, that the first oflicial infor- 
mation was received of the return of Black Hawk 
and his band to their old village near the mouth 
of Rock River, which led to the disturbances of 
that year, and it was probably through the 
prompt action of Gen. Gaines in sending a body 
of regular troops to that region, that the Indians 
were induced to return west of the Mississippi 
and further trouble was prevented. Possibly some 
knowledge of this fact may have furnished the 
ground of Black Hawk's personal hostilit>' to St. 
Vrain and the plot for his assassination, which 
was accomplished a year later. 


St. Vrain — whose full name was "Felix de 
Hault de Lassus de St. Vraiu — is described as a 
man of fine appearance, tall and slender in 
stature, "with black eyes and black curling hair, 
worn rather long," born in St. Louis, Mo., March 
23, 1799, and the gi'andson of Pierre Charles de 
Hault de Lassus et de Luzierre, who was of noble 
French ancestiT, but was compelled to leave bis 
native country during the "Reign of Terror." 
coming to the Spanish possessions on the Missis- 
sippi, where his oldest son became Gfovernor of 
Upper Louisiana. Felix St. Vrain's father. 
.Jaques. was an officer in the French navy, and 
after coming to America, members of the family 
held many offices of trust under the Government. 
Felix was a brother-in-law of George Wallace 
Joues. Hawley of the St. Vraiu party, 
who fell later, probably at the hand of another 
band of Indians, was also a brother-in-law of 
Jones, while the latter was a son of John Rice 
Jones, the first English lawyer in Illinois. Be- 
sides being an Aid of Gen. Dodge in the Black 
Hawk War, George W. Jones held a numlser of 
prominent positions iu connection with Michigan, 
Wisconsin and Iowa Territorial affairs, including 
that of Delegate in Congress from the latter, and 
later United States Senator from Iowa after it 
became a State. (For sketch of the Jones family, 
see "Historical Encyclopedia.") The tragic death 
of St. Vrain was widely deplored throughout the 
country, on account of his high reputation and 
his extended acquaintance with, and influence ill 
Indian affairs, and a bill for the relief of his 
widow and other heirs was passed by Congress 
on January G, 1834, 

The substance of this story of the Durley and 
St. Vrain tragedies is taken from the manuscript 
furnished by Mr. J. W, Clinton, of Polo, and Mr. 
E^rank E. Stevens' comprehensive history of "The 
BhKk Hawk War," publi:-,hed in 1003. 








A valued keepsake of the Oregon Post G. A. 
K. is the Memorial Day Address of Mrs. John 
A. Logan, prepared by her for the exercises at 
Oregon, on Decoration Day, 1906. On account of 
illness, Mrs. Logan was not able to be present, 
but at her request the address was read by 
Mrs. Lowden, wife of Congressman Frank O. 
Lowden. In this address Mrs. Logan makes 
mention of the organization at Decatur, 111., in 
1866, by Dr, B, F, Stephenson, of Springfield, 
and a few other veterans of Central Illinois, of 
the first Post of the "Grand Army of the Repub- 
lic" with the adoption of a ritual, by-laws and 
articles of incorporation. (For a concise history of 
this event, with names of charter members and 
active participants in the organization, see 
"Grand Army of the Republic" on pp. 205-206 
of the "Historical Encyclopedia" portion of this 

In this connection reference is also made by 
Jlrs. Logan to the adoption of a system of Decora- 
tion Day exercises, which was due to the in- 
ception of the plan by Gen. Logan, who, as first 
Conunander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the 
Republic, on the 5th of May, 1868, issued an 
order suggesting the observance of the 30th 
day of May for the floral decoration of the graves 
of Union soldiers as a fitting "tribute to the 
memories of the departed heroes." It is due to 
the memory of General Logan to say this day has 
since been recognized as a "National Memorial 
Day." and has thus been annually observed by 
the members of the Grand Army and patriotic 
citizens throughout the Nation. 


The following is a list of Grand Army Posts 
in Ogle County, with date of organization, taken 
directly from Report of Illinois Department Pro- 
ceedings at Forty-second Annual Encampment 
held at Quincy. 111., May 20-21, 1908. A list of 
Post Commanders, charter members and number 
of present members will be found in connection 
with each : 

Polo Post. No. 84, Polo, chartered September 
14, 1880. Post Commanders; F. J. Crawford, 
O. R. Hibarger, H. S. Waterbury, G. Wood. Peter 



R. Cover, Peter MoKerral, Johnson Lawrence, 
Harry Coursey, John Bogardus and C. Petti- 
bone. Charter members: R. D. Woolsey, J. L. 
Spear, F. J. Cra-n-ford, O. W. F. Snyder, Gusta- 
vus Chaffee, E. S. Waterbury, Jas. Peltz, C. L. 
Holbrook, Peter McKerral, Cyrus Xicodemus, 
Russell Barnes, James Scott, Romanzo Fisher, 
Joel Tobias. Warren P. Schryver, Ira A. Lowell, 
David E. Stevens, Peter R. Cover, Jas. F. Savage, 
Louis Shuber. D. H. Waterbury. Present mem- 
bership, .S9. 

Oregon Post, No. IIG. Oregon, chartered Dec- 
ember 1, 1881. Post Commanders: John Mat- 
miller, W. A. Washburn, J. F. Hawthorn, B. F. 
Sheets, Chester Nash, J. E. Gantz, George Petrie, 
Daniel Stout, J. G. Waldie, A. L. Kemp. Daniel 
Farrill, and T. A. Jewett. Charter members : 
B. F. Sheets, Daniel Farrill. R. T. Prentice, 
A. W. Spoor, W. A. Washburn, H. P. Sargent. 
H. A. Mix, Albany Matmiller, A. il. Castle. An- 
tone Beck, J. Vanzile, O. H. Swingly, Joseph 
Matmiller, J. M. Hitt, John Matmiller, H. B. 
Mitchaels, William Phillips, S. Marvin, JoTin G. 
Waldie, J. F. Hawthorn, H. C. Peek. S. H. Roat, 
F. H. Marsh, J. T. Gantz, L. Currier. E. F. 
Newcomer. Present membership. 50. 

Cooling Post. No. 310, Byron. 111., chartered 
July. 2.5, 1SS.3. Post Commanders : J. H. Helm, 
T. B. Gill. S. M. Huston, J. M. Norton, H. Stone, 
S. H. Shuart, L. C. Spoor. T. B. Gill, E. Burd 
and John F. Spalding. The charter members 
were : John Hogan, H. S. Strong. E. P. Bab- 
cock. Morris Osborne, William A. Grove, Joseph 
H. Hunt. John S. Spalding, William J. Haw- 
thorn, Edwin A. Irvin. John H. Helm. I. J. 
Housevert, Edward W. Swan, Patrick Kelly, H. 
H. Good. H. A. Smith, G. F. Foss, T. B. Gill, 
Robert Temple. S. C. Sanders, S. B. Strang. 
There are 11 members at present. 

RocHELLE Post, No. 546, Rochelle. chartered 
January 1.3. 1886. Post Commanders : W. E. Hem- 
enway, I. E. Thorp. R. L. Walters, O. R. Randall, 
W. H. Tibbies, B. F. Pulver, J. O. McConoughy, 
J. J. Paterson, -J. P. Minnis, R. M. King, H. H. 
Glenn, G. E. Turlington and J. G. Gannon. 
Charter members: Jonathan T. Miller. Henry 
H. Glenn, Daniel Ringle, Richard L. Walters, 
Wallace Brown, Harvey O. Perry. D. W. Parker. 
John Carmicheal. Gideon Williams, Reuljen Lilly, 

James J. Patterson, Charles W. Jaquey, Alonzo 
Hakes, F. P. Shuman, Frank Barker, Isaac E. 
Thorp, Newman P. Bullis, Cornelius Kahler, Geo. 
E. Turkington, J. B. Monley, Albert S. Radley, 
Wm. B. Bailey, George Harr, David H. Talbot, 
Prescott H. Talbot, Myron C. Nichols, Edward 
H. Reynolds, Merritt Miller, Henry Henze, John 
W. Trenholm. John W. Phillips, James P. Minnis, 
Geo. H. Sanders, Gilbert Lane, Andrew Lind, 
Ira .\llen. Wm. Gibson. Present membership. 42. 

W. C. Bakeb Post, No. 551, Stillman Valley, 
chartered January 19, 1886. Post Commanders : 
J. D. White, W. H. Harris. W. Revell, H. H. 
Kurd and L. Dickerman. Charter members : 
George F. Trumbull, Wallace Revell, William 
M. Bly, George R. Dewey, Thomas Johnston, 
Lucius C. Runyion ; Luke Dickerman, Calvin 
Baker, Henry Wells, Reuben Banks, William 
Agnew, William H. Harris, Thomas Fletcher, H. 
H. Hurd, John McNaughton, E. P. Allen, J. D. 
White. Present membership, 11. 

Henry Miller Post, No. 658, Forreston 
chartered April 10, 1888. Post Commanders: J 
X. Myers, Fred S. Spahley, William Billig, F. M 
Nikirk, A. C. Miller and Isaac J. Vogelgesang. 
Charter members : Joseph M. Myers, William 
H. Robins, Isaac J. Vogelgesang, David Over 
dorf, Benjamin F. McCutchen, Frank P. Lam- 
pert, Thomas Winston, Francis M. Nikirk, Robert 
Croukleton, William Kroener, James W. Potter, 
Andrew Conrad. William Eyrick. Jacob A. Boer- 
ner, Frederick Stahley, George Detwiler, George 
B. Harrington. Samuel E. Brown, Joseph S. 
Meyers. Samuel W. McClure. Present member- 
ship, 17. 

J. M. Smith Post, No. 720, Mt. Morris, chart- 
ered August 22, 1891. Post Commanders : Peter 
Hou.seholder, H. C. Clark, Edward Slater, W. 

E. McCready, F. D. Fouke, John E. Withers, B. 

F. Robinson and J. H. Alexander. Charter mem- 
bers : Peter Householder, Joseph M. Hoskins, 
David Newcomer, Wm. E. McCready, Robert D. 
McClure, Holly C. Clark. Dorsey Fouke, Alfred 
M. Doward, Benjamin Rine, Alfred R. Binkly, 
Samuel R. Blair. Rigdon McCoy, Samuel Nei- 
man, Robert Crosby, Benj. F. Tracy, G. W. Davis, 
Charles Rubsamen, Charles H. Unger, John B. 
Withers. I^riah Brantner. Present member-, 
ship. 17. 

^S' 1 ' 








Km H 




DAVS\- 1 LLI-: C EM I' TI-:R Y 




Patriotic Song, "Illinois." 

Mrs. Jolin A. Logan, in her Memorial Day 
address at Oregon in 1906. alluded to in tbe open- 
ing paragraph of this chapter, says : "The in- 
vincible courage of the men and the intrepid 
leaders of Illinois, won the admiration of the 
whole world." This is expressed in the match- 
less song, "Illincis," written by Mr. C. H. Cham- 
berlain, which furnishes a fitting conclusion n 
this portion of the chapter ; 

By tliy rivers iceutly flowing. Illinois. Illinois. 
O'er thy prairies verdant growing. Illinois, 

Comes an echo on the breeze. 

Rustling thro" the leafy trees. 
And its mellow tones are these, Illinois. Illinois. 
And its mellow tones are these. Illinois. 

When you heard your country calling. Illinois, 

When the shot and shell were falling, Illinois, 
When the Southern host withdrew. 
Pitting Gray against the Blue, 
There were none more brave than you, Illinois. 

There were none more brave than you, Illinois. 

Not without thy wondrous story, Illinois. Illinois, 
Can be writ the nation's glory, Illinois, Illinois, 

On the record of thy years, 

Abram Lincoln's name appears. 
Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois, Illinois, 
Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois. 


The following par.agraph, published as a "Pref- 
atory Note" in the late Dr. T. M. Eddy's "Pat- 
riotism of Illinois," furnishes an appropriate in- 
troduction to the pages of this chapter, devoted 
to the history of the Woman's Relief Corps of 
Ogle County, organized as an Auxiliary of the 
Grand Army of the Republic for the purpose of 
aiding that organization in caring for the siclf 
and needy of the veteran soldiers of the Union 
and their families : 

"It were ungrateful for rendered service, and 
untrue to facts, were not mention made of the 
devoted patriotism of the women of the State. 
They have not their record in the organization 
and marching of regiments, but theirs was never- 
theless real and noble work. They inspired the 

love of country by their own spirit. They would 
bear nothing of cowardice, or wordly prudence. 
They threw tbe halo of love of country over all 
social life. They gave their best beloved to the 
altar of the State. They organized sewing circles, 
aid societies, etc., in every neighborhood ; they 
organized and managed fairs; they opened and 
sustained Homes of Rest for the weary and 
wounded soldier. This record is a meager one, 
and does scanty justice to the devoted women 
of Illinois. Many a soldier has said, 'God bless 
them !' " 

In the spring of 1SS.3, Commander-in-Chief 
■\'andervoort, of tbe Grand Army of the Repub- 
lic, when issuing his call for the Denver En- 
campment, invited tbe auxiliaries which had 
already been formed in the different States, to 
meet at Denver July 25-26 of that year, and 
form a National Association. About fifty wo- 
men were present besides the Denver Society. 
Tbe National Association was there formed, E. 
Florence Barker, of Maiden, Mass., being made 
its first President. In 1908 the National Presi- 
dent was also from the Bay State, City of Bos- 
ton, Mrs. Mary L. Gilman. 

On January 30, 18S4, the delegates from five 
corps in Illinois — Rockford, Elgin, Decatur, 
Henry and Palestine, — met in Decatur, 111., for 
the purpose of forming a State department. The 
Department officers elected by this convention 
were : President, Julia G. Sine, Rockford ; Senior 
Vice-Pres., Sarah Freeman, Palestine ; Junior 
Vice-Pres., Sylvia M. Diehl, Henry ; Secretary, 
Miss Minnie Orren, Rockford; Treasurer, Mary 
Sanders, -Rockford; Chaplain, Emma Sneick, 
Decatur; Conductor, Sallie J. Steele, Decatur; 
Guard, R. O. Olmstead, Henry ; Inspector, Agnes 
Bush, Henry. 

The Department officers in 1908 were as fol- 
lows : President, Elizabeth A. Morse, Chicago; 
Senior Vice-Pres., Blanche Calhoun, Decatur; 
Junior Vice-Pres., Ella F. Rue, Jerseyville; Sec- 
retary, Elizabeth Shelhamer, Chicago ; Treasurer, 
Louise S. Scovill, Rockford; Chaplain, Mary 
Burtch, Chicago Heights; Inspector, Dr. Kath- 
ryn Swartz, Chicago ; Councillor, Mae G. Lincoln, 
Aurora ; I. and I. Officer, Margaret E. Thomas, 
Belleville; Patriotic Instructor, Ella V. Work. 
Chicago; Press Correspondent, Helen L. Middle- 
kauff, Lanark; Chief of Staff, Georgia B. 
Worker, Chicago. 

U. S. Gr.vnt Circle No. 20, Rochelle. III., was 
organized August 7, 1894. with the following 



officers: President, Mrs. Isabella Turkington ; 
Senior Vice President, Mrs. Wallace Brown ; 
Junior Vice President, Mrs. R. L. Walters ; 
Treasurer, Mrs. Maggie Sutphen ; Secretary, Mrs. 
Mattie Patterson ; Chaplain, Mrs. O. R. Randall ; 
Conductor, Miss Blanche Howard ; Guard, Mrs. 
E. H. Reynolds. 

Officers for 1908 were as follows : President, 
Mrs. Van Patten ; Senior Vice President, Miss 
Mattie Patterson ; Junior Vice President, Mrs. 
Bert Trenholm ; Treasurer, Miss Anna B. Turk- 
ington ; Secretary, Mrs. J. W. Southworth ; 
Chaplain, Mrs. I. E. Thorp ; Conductor, Mrs. R. 
L. Walters ; Guard, Mrs. William Tilton. 

The object of the organization is described as 
follows : "To assist the Grand Army of the Re- 
public in its high and holy mission, and encourage 
and sympathize with them in the noble work of 
charity ; to extend needful aid to members in 
sickness and distress ; to aid sick soldiers, sail- 
ors and marines ; and especially to look after 
soldiers' homes, soldiers' widows' homes and sol- 
diers' orphans' homes, to see that the children 
obtain proper situations when they leave the 
homes; to watch the schools and see to it that 
the children obtain proper education in the his- 
toiy of our country and in iiiitriotism. 

The organization has contributed to the Sol- 
diers' Widows' Home of Wilmington ; Soldiers' 
Orphans' home in Normal, 111. ; Memorial fund 
which is used to decorate soldiers" graves in the 
South ; also school for soldiers' sons in Mason 
City, Iowa. They are planning to erect a sol- 
diers' monument in Lawn Ridge Cemetery, Roch- 
elle. III., and have about $500 on hand for that 

Cooling Woman's Relief Corps, Xo. 01. of 
Byron, 111., was organized February 4, 18S7, by 
Minnie M. Kyle. The following is a list of the 
officers elected and installed : 

President — Mrs. Emily Spaulding. 

Sen. Vice President — Mrs. Emeline Sensor. 

Jun. Vice President — Mrs. Agnes Gill. 

Secretary — Miss Grace Dodds. 

Treasurer— Mrs. Lydia Catnaugh. 

Chaplain — Mrs. Sarah Jones. 

Conductor — Mrs. Orpha Strang. 

Guard — Mrs. Flora Sanford. 

Assistant Conductor — Miss Nellie Spalding. 

Assistant Guard — Miss Eva Mix. 

The officers for 1908 were: 

President— Mrs. Emily Spalding (19th year). 

Sen. Vice President — Mrs. Eliza StifEa. 

Jun. Vice President — Mrs. Lizzie Kline. 

Secretary — Mrs. L. Addle Mix. 

Treasurer — Mrs. Rachel Rush. 

Chaplain — Mrs. Marinda Wilder. 

Gonduetor — Mrs. Mlna Houston. 

Guard — Mrs. Mary Lentz. 

Assistant Conductor — Mrs. Orpha Hawthorn. 

Assistant Guard — Mrs. Martha Moore. 

Patriotic Instructor — Mrs. Cynthia Shuarf. 

Press Correspondent — Mrs. Lydia Artz. 

Musician — Mrs. Sada Millis. 

Color Bearers — No. 1, Mrs. Carrie Johnston ; 
No. 2, Mrs. Ella Ames ; No. 3, Mrs. Tressa Artz ; 
No. 4, Mrs. Martha Champion. 

Polo Woman's Relief Corps, No. 104, was or- 
ganized April 17, 18S8, by Mr-s. Jennie Harrison 
of Sterling Corps, of Sterling, 111. The following 
is a list of officers elected and installed : 

President— Mrs. Mary Griffin. 

Sen. Vice President — Mrs. Agnes Crawford. 

Jun. Vice President — Miss Ada Fisher. 

Secretary — Mrs. "\'erd Holmes. 

Treasurer — Mrs. Mary Woolsey. 

Chaplain— Mrs. Ellen Wood. 

Conductor — Mrs. Louise Dicus. 

Guard — Miss Jennie Wood. 

Assistant Conductor — Miss Etta Hazleton. 

Assistant Guard — Miss Emma Nazerine. 

The officers for 1008 were: 

President — ^Mrs. Mae Smith. 

Sen. Vice President — Mrs. Elsie Johnson. 

Jun. Vice President — Mrs. Mary Griffin. 

Secretary — Mrs. Eva Lawson. 

Treasurer — Mrs. Jennie Bracken. 

Chaplain — Mrs. Emma Waterman. 

Conductor— Miss Ella Holly. 

(»uard — Mrs. Adeline Boyd. 

-Assistant Conductor — Mrs. Josiphine Keagy. 

Assistant Guard— Mrs. Clara Willct. 

Musician — Mrs. Ada Stevenson. 

Patriotic Instructor — Mrs. Bertha Rinert. 

Press Correspondent — Mrs. Lizzie Newton. 

Color Bearers — No. 1, Mrs. Nettie Kramer; 
No. 2, Mrs. Bessie Householder; No. 3, Mrs. 
Ella Senneff; No. 4, Mrs. Libby Miller. 

Oregon Wojian's Reijef Corps, No. 1.32, of 
Oregon, 111., was organized April 16, 1889, by 
Julia G. Sine, of Rockford, assisted by Mrs. E. 
C. Follausbee, of Quincy. The following is a 
list of officers elected and installed: 

President — Mrs. Chloe J. Cartwright. 



Sen. Vice President — Mrs. Anne Spoor. 
Jun. Vice President — Mrs. Lucy Waldie. 
Secretarj- — Mrs. Maude Lason. 
Treasurer — Mrs. Lodvisha V. Nasli. 
Chaplain — Mrs. Josephine Matmiller. 
Conductor— Mrs. Lucy Rutledge. 
Guard — Miss Frank McDaid. 
Assistant Conductor — Mrs. Hattie Cartwright. 
Assistant Guard — Miss Ida Matmiller. 
The officers for 1908 were : 
President — Mrs. Sarah Newton. 
Sen. Vice President — Mrs. Agnes Zeigler. 
Jun. Vice President — Mrs. Ida Gale. 
I Secretary — Mrs. Lodvisha Nash. 

Treasurer — Mrs. Adelia Kelly. 
Chaplain — Mrs. Minerva Allen. 
Conductor — Mrs. Lucy Waldie. 
Guard — Mrs. Lottie Flemming. 
Assistant Conductor — Mrs. Susan Boyce. 
Assistant Guard — Mrs. Alice Waggoner. 
Patriotic Instructor — Mrs. Margarette Robbins. 
Press Correspondent — Mrs. Kate Little. 
Musician — Mrs. Mary Reed. 
Color Beai-ers — No. 1, ilrs. Alice I'erry ; No. 2. 
Mrs. Nors Waldie : No. 3, Miss Elsie Kelly ; No. 
4, Mrs. Alzina Abbott. 

W. C. Baker Woman's Relief Corps, No. 277, 
of Stillman Valley, 111., was organized May 20, 
1905, by Mrs. Kelly of Earlville, assisted by Mrs. 
Ida Palmer and Miss Edgeworth of Chicago, 
Mrs. Nash, Mrs. Waldie, Mrs. Zeigler and Mrs. 
Andrews of Oregon. The following officers were 
Elected and installed : 

President — ^Mrs. Addle Revell. 

Sen. Vice President — Mrs. Josephine Roberts. 

Jun. Vice President — Mrs. Ellen Brown. 

Secretary — Mrs. Clara Trumbull. 

Treasurer — Mrs. Libbie Thorpe. 

Chaplain — Mrs. Martha Hurd. 

Conductor — Jlrs. Arvilla Atwood. 

Guard — Mrs. Myrtle Atchinson. 

Assistant Conductor — Mrs. Laura Hurd. 

Assistant Guard — ^Mrs. Gertrude Graham. 

Patriotic Instructor — Mrs. Charlotte McNaugh- 

Press Correspondent — Mrs. Lucy Taggart. 

Color Bearers — No. 1, Mrs. Carrie Sovereign : 
No. 2, Mrs. Florence Hageman ; No. 3, Mrs. Julia 
Diekerman ; No. 4, Mrs. Anna Gould. 

The officers for 1908 were: 

President — Mrs. Ellen Brown. 

Sen. Vice President — Mrs. Sarah Hatch. 

Jun. Vice President — Mrs. Clara Trumbull. 

Secretary — Mrs. Martha Hurd. 

Treasui-er — Mrs. Florence Hagaman. 

Chaplain — Mrs. Anna Gould. 

Conductor — Mrs. Arvilla Atwood. 

Guard — Mrs. Fannie Bly. 

Assistant Conductor — Mrs. Emma Latham. 

Assistant Guard — Mrs. Gertrude Graham. 

Patriotic Instructor — Mrs. Charlotte McNaugh- 

Press Correspondent — Mrs. Addie Revell. 

Musician — Mrs. Mabel Aguew. 

Color Bearers — No. 1, Mrs. Mamie Scott; No. 
2, Mrs. Laura Hurd ; No. 3, Mrs. Carrie Green ; 
No. 4, Mrs. Addie Revell. 

J. W. Smith Woman's Relief Corps, No. 287, 
of Mt. Morris, 111., was organized February 14, 
1907, by Mrs. Mabel Clark, of Aurora Corps, No. 
10, assisted by Mrs. Anne Spoor, of Oregon. 
The following officers were elected and installed: 

President — Mrs. Mary McCoy. 

Sen. Vice President — Mrs. Julia Baker. 

Jur.. Vice President — Mrs. Josephine Clark. 

Secretary — Mrs. Ivy Buser. 

Treasurer — Mrs. Julia Slater. 

Chaplain— Mrs. Catherine, Guffin. 

Conductor — Miss Emily Smith. 

Guard — Jlrs. Mary Stine. 

Assistant Conductor — Mrs. Etta Bruner. 

Assistant Guard — Mrs. Augusta .Stevens. 

Patriotic Instructor — Mrs. Carrie Smith. 

Press Correspondent — Mrs. Nellie Baker. 

Musician — Mrs. Malissa McPherson. 

Color Bearer.s — No. 1. Miss Eva Withers ; No. 
2, Miss Abbie Fouke ; No. 3, Miss Annie House- 
holder ; No. 4, Miss Minnie Muller. 

The officers for 1908 were: 

President — Mrs. Jlary McCoy. 

Sen. Vice President — ilrs. Julia Baker. 

Jun. Vice President — Mrs. Josephine Clark. 

Secretary — Mrs. Ivy Buser. 

Treasurer — Mrs. Julia Slater. 

Chaplain — Mr.s. Sarah Coggins. 

Conductor — Miss Emily Smith. 

Guard — Mrs. Mary Stine. 

Assistant Conductor — Mrs. Etta Bruner. 

Assistant Guard — Mrs. Augusta Stevens. 

Patriotic Instructor — ^Mrs. Carrie Smith. 

Press Correspondent — Mrs. Nellie Baker. 

Musician^ — Mrs. Malissa McPherson. 

Color Bearer.s— No. 1. Miss Ruth Wylie: No. 
2, Mrs. Abbie Fouke; No. 3, Mrs. Clara Merri- 
man ; No. 4, Mrs. Elva Miller. 


RocHELLE Daughters of American Revolu- 
tion. — The Rochelle Chapter of the Daughters 
of the American Revolution was organized May 
19, 1900, with 22 charter members. The objects 
of the soc-iety are : To peri^etuate the memory 
of the spirit of the men and women who achieved 
American independence, by the acquisition and 
protection of historical sjwts and the erection of 
monuments ; by the encouragement of historical 
research In relation to the Revolution and the 
publication of its results; by the preservation 
of documents and relics, and of the records of 
the individual services of revolutionary soldiers 
and patriots, and by the promotion of celebra- 
tions of all patriotic anniversaries. First offi- 
cers : Regent, Mrs. Josephine Barker ; Vice- 
Regent, Mrs. J. M. May ; Recording Secretary, 
Mrs. Fred W. Craft ; Corresponding Secretary, 
Miss Josephine Hoadley ; Registrar, Mrs. W. P, 
Landon; Treasurer, Mrs. W. W. Gould. Com 
mittee of Safeb' — Miss Mary E. Vaile, Mrs. Han 
nah Randall, Mrs. Harvey Countryman, Miss 
Bertha I. Steward, Mrs. Mary E. Elliott. 

This is said to be the only organization of its 
liind in the county, and has contributed largely 
to Continental Memorial Hall in Washington, 
D. C, and to the preservation of Fort Massac. 
OfEcers 1908: Regent, Miss Anna Turkington ; 
Vice-Regent, Mrs. Geo. E. Stocking; Recording 
Secretary, Mrs. S. V. Wirick ; Corresponding 
Secretary, Miss Josephine Hoadley; Treasurer, 
Mrs. James C. Fester ; Registrar, Mrs. Josephine 
Barker ; Librarian and Historian, Mrs. A. Ward ; 
Chaplain, Mrs. E. N. Lazier. Committee of Safe- 
ty — Mrs. Clara V. Braiden, Mrs. B. J. Knight, 
Mrs. W. P. Graham, Mrs. J. M. May. Miss Nellie 

Sons of Veterans. 

Albert Woodcock Camp. Byron — Albert Wood- 
ix)ck Camp No. -15, Sons of Veterans, was organ- 
ized at Byron, 111., in December, 1894, and was 
the first Sons of Veterans Camp organized in 
Ogle County. On January 9, 1895, the camp 
Wvis regularly mustered in with eighteen mem- 
bers. The first officers were: L. R. Spalding, 
Captain; John Gill, First Sergeant; Lee Drake, 
Quartermaster's Sergeant. In 1897 the officers 
were: Captain, Carl Spalding; First Lieuten- 
ant, W. T. Artz ; Second Lieutenant, Frank Van 
Valsa ; First Sergeant, F. A. Mealio ; Quarter- 
master's Sergeant, L. E. Spalding, and the mem- 

bership of the Camp had increased to 30. The- 
Camp then numbered among Its members. Father 
John MeCann, the son of a veteran, and the 
only Priest at that time in the United States 
regularly mustered into the ranks of the Sons 
of Veterans. U. S. Villars served this Camp one 
year as Chaplain. 









'The laws of a country form the most 
iictive part of its history." — Gihhoii. 

The law first administered in Illinois was the 
Roman, or Civil Law, as modified and adopted 
by France. The first court was established in 
1726, and was called "The Court, or Audience, 
of the Royal Jurisdiction of the Illinois." Its 
first sessions were held at Fort Chartres; later 
it convened at Kaskaskia. It was before a 
single judge, and there was no jury. After 1732,^ 
the system of law promulgated by royal edict 
for New France was the "Custom of Paris." 

The Court of Audience continued until 1764, 
or nearly one hundred years. On October tenth 
of that year the Treaty of Paris, signed the 
year before by France and England, went into 
effect in the Illinois Country, but it was not 
until 1768, that a court of British law was in- 
augurated, the people living for four years with- 
out litigation or court decrees, though the royal 
notary of France, unlike our own notary public, 
was to some extent a judicial officer. 

The new court consisted of seven judges ap- 
pointed by the military commandant, and met 

UANIHI< i'.y LK 



once each month. The common law displaced 
the civil law, and trial by jury was introduced. 
The change was received with much disfavor, 
especially trial by jury instead of trial by judge. 
As Frenchmen, the citizens of Fort Chartres, 
Kaskaskia and CahoUia, had been accustomed 
all their lives to having their legal differences 
determined by men learned in the law, and now 
to submit their disputes to a temporary, unlet- 
tered, and irresponsible tribunal of shop-keepers 
and farmers, seemed the height of judicial ab- 
surdity, and they rejected with contempt the 
English system. So intense became the feeling 
against the new courts, and their procedure, that 
Parliament restored to these French communi- 
ties the legal system of their La Belle France, 
and peace and quiet again settled over this out- 
post of civilization, but not before a number of 
the people of wealth and prominence, rather 
than live under British rule, had taken them- 
selves and their portable possessions across to 
Saint Louis, or south to Mobile or New Orleans. 

Under the Ordinance of 1787 the Governor 
and .Judges possessed legislative powers. In 
17SS Governor St. Clair, and in ISOl, General 
William Henry Harrison, his successor, met with 
the Judges and adopted such laws as to them 
seemed suited to the Territory, which on account 
of its large area was divided in 1800 and again 
in 1809, in the last division the western portion 
becoming the Territory of Illinois. In 1812 the 
Governor, Ninian Edwards, knowing the desire 
of the people for a Territorial Legislature, order- 
ed an election and later convened the first Legis- 
lative Assembly, which proceeded to form a code 
of laws. The laws were copied and adapted 
from the statutes of Pennsylvania, Massachu- 
setts, and Virginia, four-fifths of them being 
from the first named commonwealth. Jails were 
few and insecure, in consequence of which the 
punishments were summary : for burglary, or 
robbery, thirty-nine stripes and standing in the 
pillory ; for horse stealing, fifty to one hundred 
lashes, for the first offense; altering or defacing 
marks, or brands on domestic animals at large, 
forty lashes, "well laid on," and fines and im- 
prisonment in addition, or in lieu thereof. 

Before organization into a separate county, the 
territory within the present limits of Ogle 
County was included in Jo Daviess and La Salle 
Counties, mainly in the former, which was or- 
ganized in 1827 and was then bounded as fol- 
lows : Beginning on the Mississippi River at the 

northwestern corner of the state; thence down 
the Mississippi to the north line of the Military 
Tract ; thence east to the Illinois River ; thence 
north to the northern boundary of the state ; 
thence west to the place of beginning. As the 
north line of the Military Tract was nearly as 
far south as Galesburg, Jo Daviess County origin- 
ally extended over an area that is now approxi- 
mately embraced in nine counties. It was or- 
ganized from Peoria County, which was carved 
from Fulton, and that from Pike County, whose 
organization was effected in 1821 for all the 
region west and north of the Illinois and Kan- 
kakee Rivers. In 1829, the General Assembly 
created the fifth judicial circuit, which was co- 
extensive with Pike County. Quincy, Peoria, 
Chicago and Galena were the principal towns. 
Galena being the largest. 

To transact business before the courts from 
the region now making Ogle County, and which 
in 1S29 was beginning to be settled, it was nec- 
essary to travel to Galena. The Circuit Judge 
from 1S29 to 1835 was Richard M. Young, who 
In the performance of his duties traveled ou 
horseback from Quincy to Peoria, 1.30 miles; 
Peoria to Chicago, 170 miles ; Chicago to Galena, 
150 miles ; and then back to Quincy, 190 miles, 
where he lived, until he moved to Galena. 
Thomas Ford was Prosecuting Attorney in 1830, 
and was re-appointed in 1831. 

By 1831, there were enough settlers In the 
portion of Jo Daviess County, now included In 
Ogle and Lee Counties, to cause the County 
Commissioner's court to form a voting precinct 
thereof, which was given the name of Buffalo 
Grove Precinct, and elections were ordered 
held at the liouse (tavern) of John Ankeuy 
and he and Judge Dixon and Isaac Chambers 
were appointed judges of election. By 1830, 
when the first steps were taken for sep- 
arate county organiziition, for what is now 
Ogle and Lee counties, under the name of Ogle 
County, the territory was in the Sixth Judicial 
Circuit, with the Hon. Dan Stone as Circuit 
Judge, to whom the petition was presented at 
Galena, and by whom an election of county offi- 
cers was ordered to be held December 24, 1838. 
At this time the County Commissioner's Court, 
made up of three Countj' Commissioners, was the 
governing body for county affairs, and began its 
duties in the new county of Ogle, on January 3, 
1837, at Oregon in the house of John Phelps, In 
the persons of S. St. John Mix and V. A. Bogue, 



the third Commissioner elect, Cyrus Chamber- 
Iain, not qualifying until the second meeting, in 
March. This court appointed the County Clerk. 
County Treasurer, School Commissioner, granted 
license to sell liquor, to keep tavern, and to sell 
goods, -svares and merchandise, — the last two 
occupations usually including the first, — estab- 
lished election precincts, etc. Before the court 
adjourned June 7. 1837, after having held three 
meetings, they passed upon their own claims 
against the county for services, that of each Com- 
missioner being for the modest sum of six dol- 

The last session of the County Commissioner's 
Court was held November 30, lSi9. Its place 
was taken by the new County Court, provided 
for by the new Constitution of 1848, and subse- 
quent legislation, and whose first term was held 
in December, 1849, with Spooner Ruggles as 
County .Judge, and William C. Salisbury, and 
Joshua White, as associate justices. One year 
later the county system of management was 
superseded by township organization, whereupon 
the Board of Supervisors succeeded the county 
court in the transaction of all county business 
not probate or judicial in character. The change 
was made by popular vote, and it is interesting 
to note that Grand Detour precinct, made up 
of settlers from New England, the home of the 
town meeting and township system, cast 78 votes 
for, and 25 votes against adopting township 
organization ; while Maryland precinct, whose 
people had been accustomed in their eastern 
homes to County Commissioners and county gov- 
ernment, cast 158 votes for and none against 
the proposed change. 

The county was divided into civil townships 
by Daniel J. Pinckney, Henry Hill, and William 
Walmsley, commissioners appointed by the 
County Commissioner's Court, the appointment 
being the last order made by the court before 
giving way to its successor, the Board of Super- 

Contemporaneous with the act of the General 
Assembly, organizing Ogle County, was one 
creating the office of Probate Justice of the 
Peace, and vesting the Probate Justice with ex- 
clusive jurisdiction in all matters pertaining to 
estates, and concurrent jurisdiction with other 
Justices of the Peace in civil cases. The first 
Probate Justice was S. C. McClure. 

When the County Court was formed in 1849. 
all probate business was entrusted to it. as well 

as the management of all county affairs thereto- 
fore transacted by the County Commissioner's 
Court. When the latter, a year later, was taken 
over by the Board of Supervisors, the County 
Court continued as a Court of Probate. In 1872 
its powers were enlarged, it was given concurrent 
jurisdiction with the Circuit Court in all civil 
cases, involving not to exceed $500 in contro- 
versy, and in criminal cases where imprisonment 
in the county jail was the penalty. By a later 
change the amount in controversy was increased 
to .$1,000, which is the present limit. The first 
County Judge was J. B. Chaney. 

The General Assembly placed Ogle County in 
the Sixth Judicial Circuit. The first term of 
Circuit Court was held at Dixon, beginning Oct- 
ober 7, 1837, and continuing, not three weeks as 
now, but three days. Benjamin T. Phelps wa« 
Clerk. William W. Mudd, Sheriff, and Hon. Dan 
Stone, Circuit Judge. The year previous Mr. 
Stone was a co-Representative in the General 
Assembly from the county of Sangamon with 
.\braham Lincoln, with whom he signed the 
famous Lincoln resolutions introduced in the 
Tenth General Assembly, protesting against a 
series of pro-slavery resolutions adopted by the 
Assembly. The salary of the Circuit .Judge at 
tlint time was $600 per annum. 

In 1841, the General Assembly made further 
changes in the matter of the judiciary, dis- 
pensing with the Circuit Judges, and assigning 
the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and eight 
Associate Justices to circuit duties. The Consti- 
tution of 1848 made the change back to the for- 
mer system by re-establishing the office of Cir- 
cuit Judge, making it elective by popular vote, 
and as such it has come down to the present 
time. Five counties make up the present 
Fifteenth Circuit, — viz : Jo Daviess, Stephenson, 
Carroll, Ogle and Lee. — and three Judges, presid- 
ing in rotation, hold court three times annually 
— in January, April and October. The law as- 
signing three judges to each circuit was passed 
in 1873. Until recently the salairy was $3,500. 
but is now $5,000. 

The terms of court were looked forward to in 
pioneer days for their social and entertaining 
features. The Judges and the attorneys who 
traveled the circuit added life to the county-seat 
during their periodical visits. The sessions were 
attended by the men of the county in sufficient 
numbers to make a well-filled court room; con- 
sequently the examinations of witnesses and the 



addresses of the attorneys to the juries were 
made before good sized audiences, whose presence 
stimulated the questioning and added fervor to 
the oratory. 

From 1842 to 1844, the Prosecuting Attorney 
of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, which included 
Ogle County, was Benjamin F. Fridley of Au- 
rora. Of limited education but much mental 
ability, many anecdotes are told illustrating Mr. 
Fridley's methods at the bar. 

Charles Wheaton, an able and honored mem- 
ber of the Kane County Bar, related to the writer 
some years ago at Batavia, that upon one occa- 
sion he and Mr. Fridley were in a civil suit to- 
gether. As the case proceeded and the two at- 
torneys were in a dilemma as to what to do 
next, Mr. Fridley suggested, "Let's demur," when 
Mr. Wheaton asked, "But on what grounds?" 
"Oh," replied Mr. Fridley, "I don't know. But 
we'll enter a general demurrer, and maybe the 
Court will find something." The demurrer was 
filed and later when the case was called the 
Court remarked, "A demurrer has been entered 
here, presumably upon the ground that, etc., 
etc.," stating ground not thought of by the at- 
torneys and which was of value to their side 
of the cause. 

One of the moist amusing cases tried in court 
held at Oregon, occurred some years ago, during 
the lifetime of Mr. "William Swingley, of Oregon.' 
"Uncle Billy Swingley," as he was commonly 
knowTi, was a witness on the opposing side ; his 
testimony involved the conversation with him 
of a German "from the other side of the river," 
who was the plaintiff. Not knowing Uncle Billy, 
and his capacity for inimitable mimicry and 
drollery, the .Judge presiding told liim to rei)eat 
exactly what had been said to him. "'What!" 
said Uncle Billy, "shall I tell just what he said?" 
"Yes," was the answer, '-exactly what was said." 
With a merry twinkle in his eye, he began, and 
told word for word, in broken English and per- 
fect German tone and accent, accompanied with 
the characteristic nervous German gesticulations, 
the entire matter, which was funny enough in 
itself. It is said that the jury and bar were 
convulsed with laughter, and that the .Judge 
leaned back iu his chair and shook with mirth. 
When the court recovered its gravity, the wit- was told that that would do. 

In 1841, perhaps the most unique case in the 
history of the courts of Ogle County was tried ; 
(hat of Jonathan W. Jenkins and 111 others 

indicted for the murder of John DriscoU and 
William Dri.scoll, members of a band of horse 
thieves. Detailed narratives of the trial and of 
the occurrences that led to it by Attorney Franc 
Bacon and Attorney J. C. Seyster of the Oregon 
Bar, are included in Chapter XXn' of this vol- 
ume. Judge Ford, the Circuit Judge who presided, 
was a citizen of the county and resided at Ore- 
gon. .John D. Caton, with three other attorneys' 
of the Ninth Circuit, defended the 111. Wishing 
to have them by themselves in order the better 
to question and counsel them, the lawyers and 
their clients, the Sheriff and his deputies ac- 
companying, "marched out to a little isolated 
peak in the prairie," as stated in "E5arly Bench 
and Bar of Illinois." The peak is the one known 
as "Sugar Loaf," on the grounds of the Hor- 
mell home, on North Sixth Street. 

The most important early criminal trial of this 
portion of the State was that of the People of 
the State of Illinois versus William Bebb, oc- 
curring in 1834. William Bebb, former Gover- 
nor of Ohio, purchased Mexican War land war- 
rants which were placed on goverimient land in 
Leaf River Township of Ogle County and in the 
adjoining Township of Seward of Winnebago 
County, until the ownership so acquired ex- 
tended over 5,000 acres. About 1850, Governor 
Bebb built himself a house, locating it just across 
the line iu Winnebago County, and soon after 
removed from Ohio there with his family and 
took up a permanent residence. He placed fine 
stock upon his land, especially Durham cattle. 
Several years thereafter, following the mar- 
riage of his son, Michael Bebb, a party, of a 
hundred of the young fellows of the neighbor- 
hood congregated at the Bebb home and began 
a charivari of the usual boisterous sort. The 
demonstration was displeasing to Governor Bebb, 
who resented it and ordered the participants to 
desist and to leave the premises. No attention 
being paid to his eouuuand, he became angered 
and taking up a gun, fired into the crowd, fatally 
wounding a .young man named Niles, who lived 
just across the line iu Ogle County, and who 
had been a follower of the crowd rather than a 
partaker in the orgy. 

Governor Bebb was indicted for murder. At 
the trial in Rockford, he was defended by Thos. 
Corwin, lawyer. United States Senator from 
Ohio and Secretary of the Treasury in the Cabi- 
net lit President Fillmore, which office he had 
just resigned. Corwin was a special friend of 


Bebb and had c-ouie from his home iu Ohio, to 
Rockford, to act as his attorney. It is said that 
he spent several weeks in the vicinity before the 
trial, incognito, preparing for his part in the 
defense by seeing and talking with the people of 
the locality and making himself acquainted with 
tbeir knowledge and sentiments In the matter. 
Others had fired guns and proof was not made 
that the shot which cost the life of the victim 
of the unfortunate affair came from the hand 
of the indicted man. The verdict was an acquit- 
tal. A good deal of ill feeling towards Governor 
Bebb was developed and for a time he lived out 
of the State, but finally made his home in Rock- 
ford, where he died in 1873. 

While Oregon was still known by its former 
name of Florence and before it was a county- 
seat, its first two attorneys came, — E. S. Leland 
and Thomas Ford. The former took part in the 
trial of the Driscolls, being active in behalf of 
the people. He remained some years in Oregon 
and then removed to Ottawa, where he was 
elected to a judgeship. The first deeds to lots 
In Oregon show Thomas Ford as the agent of 
the County Commissioners in the sale of tovra 
lots. Before that time he had been Prosecuting 
Attorney for the judicial circuit including north- 
ern Illinois, and when Galena was the county- 
seat for this northwestern part of the State. 
From 1S35 to 1837, he was Judge of the Sixth 
Judicial District, and was again commissioned 
Circuit Judge in 1839. In 1841, he was elevated 
to the Supreme Bench, and from there was 
elected Democratic Governor in 1842. He con- 
tinued to reside at Oregon until his nomination 
for Governor. 

W. W. Fuller located in Oregon in 1838. He 
had practiced law in Massachusetts after grad- 
uating from the Harvard Law School in 1817, 
but visited the West in 1838 and, upon the advice 
of Thomas Ford, decided to open a law office in 
Oregon, continuing practice here until his death 
in 1849. 

Henry A. Mix came to Oregon in 1841 from 
Vermont, being a graduate of the Harvard Law 
School. He practiced his profession and was 
identified with various business enterprises until 
his accidental death in 1867. He joined the 
newly-organized Republican party. 

In 1845, John B. Chaney came to Oregon from 
Maryland, read law with W. W. Fuller, and -was 
elected Probate Justice in 1846, serving until 

1851, when he departed for California and the 
gold fields, dying e»^ route. 

Edward F. Dutcher began to practice law In 
1843, came to Oregon in 1846 from the State of 
Xew York, but was born iu the State of Con- 
necticut. He made Oregon his home for the re- 
mainder of his life, during all of which he was 
active as an attorney, except for an absence of 
several years as a soldier in the War of the 
Rebellion, from which he returned with the 
rank of Major. He reached the advanced age 
of more than eighty years, his death taking place 
only several years ago. 

J. W. Carpenter came to Polo in 1856 from 
Peekskill, N. Y., where he had been admitted 
to practice law a short time before. Students 
together in law in the East, he and John D. 
Campbell formed a law partnership in Polo, 
which continued until Mr. Carpenter's death in 

In 1S45, Joseph Sears passed through Oregon 
on his way to Prophet's Town, where be engaged 
in teaching. He had begun the study of law 
before leaving his native State of Vermont, com- 
pleting it in the office of Judge Wilkerson of 
Rock Island, and being admitted to the Bar, but 
soon afterward returned to Oregon and settled 
here in 18.52. The following year he was ap- 
pointed County Clerk and acted in that capacity 
from 1854 to 1857. Resuming his profession, he 
continued iu the practice of the law in Oregon 
during the remainder of his life, receiving the 
apix>intment of Master in Chancery in 1888 and 
performing the duties of that office up to the 
time of his death, which occurred on June 5, 
1892. During the nearly forty years of his prac- 
tice here no member of the Bar enjoyed a wider 
acquaintance or in a larger degree the respect of 
the community. 

George P. Jacobs read law in the office of H. 
A. Mix after removing to Oregon with his par- 
ents from Galena in 1852, and graduating at 
Beloit College in 1857. He was admitted to the 
Bar in 18G0, from which time until 1881 he 
practiced his profession, excepting during an 
absence of two years in the Commissary Depart- 
ment during the Civil War. From 1881 to 1891 
he served as County Judge. His death occurred 
in 1891. 

M. D. Hathaway was long a member of the 
Ogle County Bar from Rochelle. He came from 
Yates County, Xew York, to Rockford In 1854, 
where he was admitted to the Bar in 1856 and 


in 18G1 moved to Rochelle, where he continued 
to reside for more than forty years, his death 
occurring in 1S96. 

M. D. Swift came to Polo from Herliimer 
County, New Yorlc, in 1S5C, was admitted to the 
Bar in 1860 after having studied law with Car- 
penter and Campbell of Polo, and continued in 
practice until 1893, except during an absence 
of three years, first as a Captain in the Fifteenth 
Illinois Volunteer Infantry and afterward as 
Lieutenant-Colonel of the One Hundred and 
Forty-second Illinois, in the War of the Rebel- 

George E. Johnson came with his parents from 
New York City to Lightsville at sixteen years 
of age, read law in Chicago in the office of for- 
mer Governor Altgeld, and in 1882 was ad- 
mitted to the Bar and opened an office in Leaf 
River, where he continued in practice until 1899, 
when he removed to Carthage, 111., dying there 
in November of the same year. 

In 1S7.S in the office of Col. Swift, James W. 
AUabeu began the study of the law and was ad- 
mitted to the Bar of Ogle County in 18TS. He 
came to Polo with his parents in 1855 from 
Delaware County, New York. He continued 
in the practice of his profession at Polo the re- 
mainder of his life, or until 1901. 

William Sears read law with his father, Joseph 
Sears, and after admission to the Bar at Ottawa 
in 1889, began practice in his father's office, as- 
sisting his father and also doing business on his 
own account. This was only for a brief period, 
however, his career being cut short by his 
early death in January, 1893. 

Fi-ancis E. Dresser, of Lynnville, attended the 
Chicago College of Law and spent a year in the 
law office of Charles A. Works, of Rockford. 
He was admitted to the Bar in 1897. Making 
Rochelle his home, he practiced law there for 
several years, meantime assisting in the First 
National Bank of Rochelle and also for a time 
filling a clerical position in a department of the 
State Government at Springfield, until his death 
in 1906. 

George O'Brien came to Amboy, 111., from 
Franklin County, and became a law student in 
the office of Attorney Wooster of Amboy. Later, 
he went to Dixon, whore he continued his law 
residing in the office of his brother. David 
O'Brien, and was admitted to the Bar in 1884. 
After practicing for a short time in Dixon, he 
removed to Roclielle in 1885. He built up a prac- 

tice and continued his office in Rochelle for 
twenty-two years, until his death on July 17. 

The oldest member of the Bar of Ogle County 
at the present time is Judge John D. Campbell 
of Polo. Judge Campbell came to Polo in 1855 
from Delaware Countj-, N. Y., having been ad- 
mitted to practice a few months before at Peeks- 
kill. For a time he was a member of the law 
firm of Carpenter and Campbell, after which he 
practiced alone. In 1872, be was elected State's 
Attorney and re-elected in 1876. From 1891 to 
ISOS he served as County Judge. He is 78 yeara 
of age and is still at his office and before tht 
courts. In addition to being the oldest attorney, 
his years of practice exceed those of any other 
member of the local Bar. 

Judge James H. Cartwright was a member of 
the Bar of Ogle County, in active practice from 
1S67 until his .election as Circuit Judge in 1888, 
and his subsequent service on the Appellate 
Bench was followed by his elevation to the Su- 
preme Bench in 1895, to fill the vacancy caused 
by the death of the Hon. Joseph M. Bailey, his 
re-election in 1897 and again in 1906. He came 
of Illinois from Iowa, was graduated from the 
Ann Arbor Law School in 1867 and soon after 
opened an office in Oregon, where he still resides. 
He was attorney for the Chicago and Iowa Rail 
:oad Company during its eventful first years. 
His service in the Supreme Court is of a high 

The present Bar of Ogle County is made up 
of the following attorneys : 

At Oregon — J. C. Seyster, Franc Bacon, H. A. 
Smith, E. A. Ray, F. E. Reetl, Guilford McDaid, 
Joseph Sears, Horace G. Kauffiman, William P. 
Fearer, S. W. Crowell, W. J. Emerson, F. W. 
Burchell, Bert Duzan, Orville R. Ely. 

At Rochelle— D. W. Baxter, W. P. Landon, 
C. E. Gardner, William J. Healy, T. Frank 
Healy, E. J. McConaughy, W. B. McHenry, Floyd 
Tilton, S. V. Wirick. 

At Polo— J. D. Campbell, Fred Zick, B. M. 
Brand. George E. Read, Harry Typer, Robert 
L. Bracken. 

At Byron — J. C. Woodburn, Lyman Dexter. 

At Forreston — Frank Wertz, M. H. Eakle. 

Other attorneys who practiced In Ogle County, 
but either for a short time, then removing to 
other fields, or to an inconsiderable degree, giv- 
ing of their time to other interests as well, have 
been the follovv'ing : Samuel N. Samples, who 



delivered the address at the dedication of Rocli 
River Seminary ; Henry Roberts, F. Oliver Baird, 
James C. Lucky, Thomas J. Hewitt, N. W. Hal- 
sey, W. W. Levitt, R. C. Burchell, H. P. Lason, 
William B Litch, E. A. Ward, H. O. Rogers. 






At the time of settlement and for some years 
thereafter, the practice of medicine in Ogle 
County was materially different from the same 
vocation to-day. This was true because of con- 
ditions extraneous to the profession itself. An- 
swering calls was a matter of horseback and 
saddle-bags, of crossing sloughs and fording 
streams. A night ride to a distant farm meant 
a loneliness impossible now to the rider, mak- 
ing his way slowly along the boggy trail by the 
aid of "the lantern dimly burning." Even a night 
call in the village, wliere there were few or no 
sidewalks and no street lamps, necessitated car- 
rying a lantern, which then burned a tallow can- 
dle that emitted its faint and uncertain light. 

The most prevalent ailment was chills and 
fever, or ague, for which quinine was the sov- 
ereign remedy and was given in liberal doses, 
not as now, in capsules, but in the powder it- 
self. There were few prepared medicines then. 
The physician from his own supply of drugs 
rolled the pills and compounded the tinctures. 
If the medicines were simple, they were none 
the less powerful. The remedies were largely 
the well known calomel, quinine, ipecac, opium, 
jalap and aconite. "Bleeding" was a popular 
remedy for various ills, especially those of 
an inflammatory character. When the lancet 
opened a vein in the arm and the blood flowed 
freely, improvement was looked for in spite of 
the fact that loss of blood meant loss of strength. 

There were no aniestheties. Sulphuric ether 

was first used in 1&46 and shortly thereafter 
the value of chloroform for producing insensi- 
bility to pain was discovered and hailed as a 
blessing by the profession the world over, but 
neither came into general use at once. Neither 
were there any antiseptics, other than the ever 
present small bags of asafoetida and sulphur, 
which were worn in times of contagion. Sur- 
gery was limited to a few simple operations per- 
formed under ditficulties, no less to patient than 
physician. The latter was also the dentist of 
his time, but going only so far as to extract a 
troublesome tooth when an application of clove 
oil did not relieve the pain. That was the whole 
of dentistry. The mothers of that time, accus- 
tomed to depend upon themselves, were always 
prepared to make and give any of a number of 
simple home remedies, which were resorted to 
first, and if they proved unavailing, then the 
doctor was sent for. These were salves, iwul- 
tices, mustard plasters, herb teas, hot foot hatha, 
"sweats" and the like. Frequently they were 
all that were needed, a considerable part of their 
efficacy being found, without doubt, in the rest 
and quiet that ensued and in the sympathy and 
care, the "mothering," bestowed by the good 
angels of the household. 

In the winter of 1835, Dr. John Roe settled 
in the county at what is now Light House. He 
had started from Sangamon Count.v for Ogle 
County in 1834, but the latter not being yet 
free of Indians, he and his family remained a 
year in Putnam County. He followed his pro- 
fession at Lighthouse for many years and was 
well known and highly esteemed. His practice 
extended over a wide area, at times as far east 
as Sycamore and as far west as Buffalo Grove. 
Dr. Roe was a Pennsylvanian by birth, but 
came to Illinois from Kentucky, where his medi- 
cal education was obtained. His custom of keep- 
ing a lamp burning all night in the window of 
his house, upon an elevation from which the 
light was seen for many miles across the prairie, 
gave the name "Lighthouse" to the village that 
grew up around him. Dr. Malcolm C. Roe, of 
Chana, who has practiced medicine there for 
thirty years, is a son, and Dr. J. Benjamin Roe, 
of Oregon, a grandson of Dr. John Roe, making 
three generations of physicians in that pioneer 

Dr. William J. Mix obtained his medical edu- 
cation in Montreal, Canada, but after a residence 
of several years and the practice of medicine in 



Pennsylvania, came to Oregon Township in 1S35. 
He acted as Assistant Surgeon at the battle of 
Plattsburg during the War of 1812. He followed 
his profession in Oregon until his death in 1850, 
also being engaged in mercantile business for a 
time in Daysville. He was well known over a 
wide area of country. 

Dr. Burns, Dr. Beatty, Dr. Hurd, and Dr. 
Reed were the first physicians of Polo, Mount 
Morris, Byron and Rochelle, respectively. Dr. 
McXiel, Dr. Stephens and Dr. McCosh, of Mount 
Morris ; Dr. Snyder, of Polo ; Dr. Potter, of Ore- 
gon ; Dr. Gould, -of Rochelle, and Dr. Russell 
and Dr. Helm, of Byron, were among the early 
practitioners of the county. 

In later years, and until his death in 1901, 
Dr. H. A. Mix, of Oregon, and a son of Dr. Wil- 
liam J. Mix, was well known throughout the 
countj- as a capable physician and surgeon. He 
was graduated from Rush Medical College, 
where he did post-graduate work after his re- 
turn from the War of the Rebellion, in which 
he was Assistant Surgeon and later Surgeon of 
the Sixty-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry from 
February, 1864-, until the of the war. Dr. 
George M. McKenney, who had been associated 
with him, and is now a practicing physician of 
Oregon, is a grandson of Dr. William J. Mix, 
another instance of three generations of physi- 
cians in a pioneer family of this county. 

Dr. David Newcomer was well regarded by 
the people of Mount Morris and the surrounding 
region, where he followed his profession from 
1867 until his death in 1901. He was a graduate 
of JefCerson Medical College, Philadelphia, and 
an Army Surgeon during the Civil War. 

In surgery the progress has been no less mark- 
ed than in materia medica. With ether and chlo- 
roform for general and cocaine for local anaes- 
thesia, with antiseptic bandages and solutions 
and with finely made instruments designed for 
particular uses according to anatomical knowl- 
edge, the most exact and profound, the surgeon 
of to-day performs marvelous operations for the 
health and life of his patients. At this time 
Dr. Helm and Dr. Allaben, of Rockford, and 
Dr. Staley, of Freeport, are called to Ogle 
County for difficult surgical cases. The trained 
nurse is a most valuable ad.iunct of the medical 
profession of the present time. A number of 
young women of the county have taken the in- 
struction and attended upon the general hos- 
pital practice in Chicago, Rockford, or elsewhere. 

necessary to entitle them to certificates to act 
as trained nurses. Those whose services are 
now being given in that capacity and whose 
names have been available are the following: 
Misses Esther Waterbury, Grace Judson, Helena 
Hackett, Bertha Hanes, Alice Holland, Neila 
Maynard, Edna Knight, Pearl Unger, Lillian 
Reynolds, Lydia Hicks, Rosabell King. 

The physicians of the county at the present 
time and in the different towns are the follow 
ing : 

At Rochelle — William J. Gould, G. E. Bush 
nell, F. G. Crowell, E. C. File, .1. L. Gardner, 
J. C. Kennedy, B. G. Stevens. 

At Oregon — G. M. McKenney, J. A. Beveridge, 
B. A. Cottlow, J. Benjamin Roe, Leo E. Schnel 
der, Horace H. Sheets, E. .1. Wolcott. 

At Polo — L. A. Beard, W. B. Donaldson, S. D. 
Huston, J. H. Judson, George Maxwell, C. W 
McPherson, C. E. Powell. 

At Mount Morris— George B. McCosh, W. W 
Hanes, C. J. Pric-e, J. G. Brubaker. 

At Forreston — J. C. Aikens, F. S. Overfleld, B 
O. Brown. 

At Byron— A. J. Woodcock, W. E. Coquittelle 
J. A. Johnson, S. E. Thompson. 

Creston— A. G. Blanchard, H. C. Bobbins. J 
F. Vanvoorhis. 

Leaf River — S. B. Bowerman. J. T. Kretzinger, 
Dr. Rerilogle. 

Holcomb — ^G. S. Henderson. John Murray. 

Stillman Valle.v — A. H. Beebe. .Joseph Rep- 

Grand Detour — James Pankhurst, J. B. Wer- 

Monroe— J. F. Snyder, H. G. Davis. 

Ghana — Malcolm C. Roe. 

Brookville— C. R. Brigham. Harriet E, Gam- 

Kings— E. B. Johnson. 






"Trausportation is the vital fact iu tlie com- 
mercial growth and prosperity of the country." 
— President Roosevelt. 

Ogle County is traversed by the following rail- 
roads : the Illinois Central; the Chicago & 
Northwestern ; the Burlington ; the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul; the Chicago & Great 
Western; the Illinois, Iowa & Minnesota; 
built in the order named. 

As early as 1S32 the project of a railway from 
the mouth of the Ohio River northward to the 
Illinois and Michigan Canal was advanced and 
discussed. In 1836 the General Assembly 
granted a charter and in 1837 the scheme was 
pushed, but beyond the construction of a line 
between Meredosia and Springfield as a part 
of the Northern Cross Railroad, nothing was 
completed and the matter dropped. Finally in 
1850, Senator Douglas obtained from Congress 
a grant to the State of Illinois of alternate 
sections of laud from Cairo to the northwest- 
ern corner of the State, and extending six miles 
on either side, foi a line of railway to be char- 
tered by the General Assembly and built by 
private capital, the company so organized to 
.be made the beneficiary of the granted land. 
This resulted in the building of the Illinois 
Central Railway. When land within the six- 
mile limit was not vacant, substitutes for the 
alternate sections were taken east and west 
of the road to a distance of fifteen miles. A 
branch was to extend from La Salle, the south- 
ern end of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, 
to Chicago. The charter exempted the com- 
pany from taxation, but required that it pay 
into the treasury of the State seven per cent, 
of its gross earnings. The total amount so 
received up to 1904 was $22,722,800. The road 
was completed through Ogle County in 1853. 
The stations on this line in the county are Woo- 
sung. Polo, Haldane, Forreston, and Baileyville. 
At Polo a fine new brick station has recently 
been erected. 

The next railway was a branch of the Galena 
& Chicago Union Railroad, known as the Dixon 
Air Line. This left the main line at Turner 
Junction, now West Chicago. It was built in 
1854, was afterward purchased by the Chicago 

& Northwestern Company, and is now a part 
of that road's main line from Chicago to Omaha. 
The stations in the county are Creston, Ro- 
chelle and Flagg. 

While engaged in supervising the construc- 
tion of the bridge across Rock River at Oregon 
iu 1SG7, Francis E. Hinckley, of the firm of 
Cauda and Hinckley, Chicago, learned of the 
efforts of the people of Ogle and Carroll Coun- 
ties to secure a railway, and of the existence 
of the Ogle and Carroll County Railroad Com- 
pany, by which, however, nothing tangible had 
been accomplished, but whose purpose was to 
run a railway from Rochelle to Mount Carroll, 
its charter having been obtained from the Legis- 
lature as early as 1857. Mr. Hinckley deter- 
mined to take up the matter and bring it to a 
conclusion. The result was the act of March 3, 
1869, authorizing the incorporation of the Chi- 
cago & Iowa Railroad Company, and directing 
the building of a railroad from Rochelle to Sa- 
vanna. The company organized by the election 
of F. E. Hinckley, James V. Gale, F. G. Petrie,- 
E. S. Potter, and D. B. Stiles as directors, and 
the board elected F. E. Hinckley, President, 
and James V. Gale, Vice-President. 

It was expected that the Chicago & North- 
western Company would aid the project. This 
failed and, instead, arrangements were made 
with the Burlington Company for connecting 
with its line at Aurora. Under the then exist- 
ing law an Illinois township might by a majority 
vote donate money in aid of a proposed railway 
within its borders. Accordingly, aid was voted 
the new road; in Ogle County, Flagg Township 
donating $50,000; Oregon, $50,000; Pine Rock, 
$10,000 ; Nashua, $5,000 ; Mount Morris, $75,000 ; 
Forreston, $75,000. 

The work was pushed vigorously. By the be- 
ginning of winter of 1869, the new road had 
been surveyed from Rochelle to Oregon, and the 
work of grading nearly completed. New York 
capital to the amount of $1,000,000 was ad- 
vanced on a first mortgage, and the work went 
on. In the fall of 1870, grading began at Au- 
rora, and the construction train of the new road 
appeared in Rochelle on December 31st, having 
run through from Aurora. By April 1, 1871, 
the road was completed to Oregon at a point 
where the four highways cross east of the wagon 
bridge, which was then expected to be the per- 
manent route for entering Oregon, but this was 
afterward changed to the present route one 

irX./D ^*^».^X^ 



luile farther south. The old roadbed may yet 
be seen in the outline through the land running 
southeast from the crossing of the highways 
just mentioned, and now the farm of S. H. 
Reints. Freight and passengers began to be car- 
ried. The building of the bridge began in 
July and was completed by October 20th. The 
first train ran into Mount Morris on November 
12th, and on the 28th, into Forreston, the west- 
ern terminus of the road, where connection was 
made with the Illinois Central Railroad. By 
arrangements with the Illinois Central and Bur- 
lington companies, through trains were run over 
the three lines from Chicago to Dubuque. 

This gave a much needed railroad across the 
county from east to west, but one factor in the 
financing of the enterprise had its disadvan- 
tages—the railroad aid bonds. The minority 
opposed to their issue watched every opportunity 
for technical grounds of objection by which to 
defeat the obligation and avoid the debt. 

In the town of Flagg, by the terms of the 
contract under which the donation was made, 
the new road was to be completed "in and 
through the town of Flagg" by January 1, 1871. 
On December 31, 1870, when the first train ran 
into Rochelle and therefore into, but not through, 
the town of Flagg, the minority found cause of 
complaint, and later obtained an injunction re- 
straining the officials from issuing bonds to pay 
the promised aid, claiming that the town was 
released from any obligation. The Supreme 
Court sustained the injunction, though on other 
grounds, holding that, whereas the bonds were 
voted at a town meeting under a moderator, 
there should have been an election with judges 
and clerks to make the lx)nds legal and binding. 

The same anti-payment step was taken by Ore- 
gon, and for substantially the same reason — ina- 
bility on the part of the company to complete 
the road to Oregon until a little later than it 
had agreed to do so. After continuances in the 
Circuit Court from October, 1871, to October, 
1873, by a sort of compromise, the Supervisor 
of the town of Oregon having defaulted in ap- 
pearance before the court, a decree was granted 
allowing the complainants .f-tO.OOO and for the 
defendants $10,000 of bonds of the .$50,000 origi- 
nally voted. For the past thirty-five years this 
bonded debt of $40,000, after having been refund- 
ed at various times, with no provision for the 
payment of anything but the interest, is about to 
be paid at the rate of $4,000 each year. 

Forreston Township refused to fulfill its obli- 
gation to issue bonds for the aid voted. Litiga- 
tion ensued and her Supervisor, F. H. Tice, 
being in contempt of court for refusal to exe- 
cute an order thereof, was Imprisoned. The mat- 
ter was compromised by the issue of bonds for 
$50,000 of the $75,000 voted. 

Mount Morris Township also had a minority 
unwilling to submit to the vote of the majority. 
When the new railroad was approaching the 
township as fast as its engineers could build it, 
an injunction was obtained praying that the oflB- 
cials be restrained from issuing bonds, or levy- 
ing a tax, in payment of the donation of $75,000. 
Before the court decree was obtained, the rail- 
road company and the town reached a settle- 
ment, whereby it was agreed in terms more 
than usually amicable, that the aid extended 
should be $50,000 instead of $75,000, the disaf- 
fected petitioners becoming parties thereto after 
themselves receiving a donation from the public 
funds of $1,600 to defray their expenses for 
"la\\'yers' fees, travelling expenses and court 
charges." Bonds were issued accordingly, pay- 
able in ten years. Seven years later, when the 
time for payment was drawing near, other disaf- 
fected citizens filed their bill in the Circuit 
Court, "on the chancery side thereof," for a sec- 
ond injunction, the prayer of which was that 
the township be restrained from levying a tax 
to pay the bonds of the compromise when the 
ten years should be up. The new ground of ob- 
jection to payment lay in the report that Super- 
visor Getzandaner had interviewed the German 
Insurance Company of Freeport, the holder of 
most of the bonds, for the purpose of getting 
from its officers a reduction in the rate of inter- 
est, and that he had secured a promise from 
them to thereafter accept eight per cent, instead 
of ten, whereas, when the next interest fell due, 
the Insurance Company demanded the rate "nom- 
inated in the bond." declaring that they never 
agreed to be satisfied with less. There was evi- 
dently a misunderstanding, but the minority, 
now grown to nearly, if not fully, a majority, 
became incensed at the bondholders for an al- 
leged breach of faith, and so found, as they be- 
lieved, a new weapon with which to fight the 

The Circuit Court dissolved the injunction 
and the case was then taken by appeal to the 
Supreme Court, where, after six years of litiga- 
tion, the decision of the lower court was af- 



firmed. Then for a number of years tlie enforce- 
ment of the decision of the court was obstructed 
by the refusal of the Town Clerli to qualify or to 
execute the law. Meantime interest at the rate 
of ten per cent, had gone unpaid for nine years 
and the original bonded sum of $50,000 now 
amounted to over $104,000. Of this amount, 
$47,000 was paid the following year in a tax 
fourfold larger than any which the people of 
the township had ever before been called on 
to pay. The remaining $57,929.25 of the in- 
debtedness was refunded at four per cent, in 
bonds of varying denominations in such manner 
that $3,600 became due each year until all should 
be paid. The fight put up against paying the 
obligation had injured the town's credit. The 
new bonds were offered to N. W. Harris & Co., of 
Chicago and New York, whose New York repre- 
sentative on Wall Street was N. W. Halsey, 
formerly of Forreston, who had special knowl- 
edge of the whole matter, and it was through 
his recommendation that his firm took the bonds 
at par. All but two of them have since been 
cancelled, the two remaining unpaid not matur- 
ing until in .June of 1909 and of 1910. 

The Constitutional Convention of 1870 in fram- 
ing the present Constitution of Illinois adopted 
a provision declaring that "no county, city, town, 
township or other municipality, shall ever be- 
come subscriber to the capital stock of any rail- 
road or private corporation, or make donation 
to or loan its credit in aid of such corporation," 
but without interfering with the carrying out 
of any such subscription already made, thus put- 
ting an end to this class of litigation. 

The Chicago and Iowa Railroad continued to 
be operated as built for seventeen years, except 
that its headquarters were removed to Rochelle, 
but eventually it came under the control and, 
after passing through the hands of a receiver, 
under the ownership of the Chicago, Burlington 
& Quincy Railroad Company. In 1885 a new 
organization, the Burlington & Northern Rail- 
road Company, leased the Chicago & Iowa Rail- 
road and, beginning at Oregon, built a new line 
west to Savanna, and north to La Crosse, where, 
by further leasing, through trains were run from 
Chicago to St. Paul and Minneapolis. Since then 
both the Chicago & Iowa and the Burlington & 
Northern Railroad Companies have been merged 
into the Burlington Company, whose through 
trains, with their chair, Pullman, buffet and din- 
ing ears, run to St. Paul and Minneapolis. 

In 1874, F. E. Hinckley of the Chicago & Iowa 
Railroad Company, together with capitalists of 
Rockford, organized the Chicago, Rockford & 
Northern Railroad Company. The road extends 
from Flagg Centi'e to Rockford, and upon its 
completion in 1875, was leased to the Chicago & 
Iowa Railroad Company for thirty years for 
twenty-five percent, of its gross earnings. Its 
stations in the county are Flagg Centre, Kings, 
Holeomb and Davis Junction. That portion of 
the road north of Davis Junction was taken 
forcible possession of by the Chicago, Milwaukee 
& St. Paul Railroad Company in an attempt to 
seize the entire road because of the latter com- 
pany having purchased considerable Chicago, 
Rockford & Northern stock, the two roads cross- 
ing at Davis Junction. The courts restored the 
captured property, which since then has been 
used by both roads upon an amicable basis, to 
enter Rockford. The Chicago, Rockford & North- 
ern Railroad is now owned by the Burlington 
Company, which leases the whole of it and also 
that portion of the old Chicago & Iowa Railroad 
ironi Flagg Centre to Stewart .Junction, to its 
former enemy for the latter's trains over the 
new branch to Mendota. The two companies 
own jointly a fine new station recently built 
by them at Davis Junction. 

The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Company 
built into Ogle County from Chicago, via Elgin 
as far as Byron, in 1S75. In 1880 the road was 
continued through the county as far west as 
Savanna. The stations are Montoe, Davis Junc- 
tion, Stillman Valley, Byron, Leaf River, Ade- 
line, Forreston and Harper. The company paid 
liberally for its right of way and gives the 
territory it traverses the best of railroad facili- 

The next line of railway to enter Ogle County 
was the Chicago and Great Western, which 
passes through Lindenwood, Stillman Valley, 
Byron, Myrtle and Egan City. It was built in 
1886 and is a through line from Chicago to points 
in Illinois and Iowa. 

In 1905, the American Steel Company built a 
railroad from Momence, 111., through Joliet, Au- 
rora, De Kalb and Rockford, to points in Iowa 
and Minnesota, known as the Illinois, Iowa & 
Minnesota Railroad, or Outer Belt Line. This 
road crosses the northeastern corner of Ogle 
County, but there is no station on it within the 
short distance it traverses in Ogle County. Built 
for freight purpo.*es chiefly, it affords an oppor- 



tuuity to the people living within reach of it 
to ship manufactured products and other mer- 
chandise to points east of Chicago -n-ithout the 
delay encountered by switching through that 

Efforts have been made at different times to 
construct an electric railway for freight and 
passenger traffic along Rock River between 
Dixon and Rockford, passing, in Ogle County, 
through Grand Detour, Oregon and Byron. In 
1903, after several surveys had awakened inter- 
est in the project, grading was begun a short 
distance this side of Grand Detour, and poles 
were set in Oregon and elsewhere, but only for 
the purpose of prolonging the life of the fran- 
chise. Nothing further was done. 


In 1SS5, the Central Union Telephone Com- 
pany established its lines in Ogle County. This 
was the first company to install a service. The 
stations were then only the principal towns, with 
but one central phone in each place, for the use, 
not of subscribers, as now, but of those who 
came to the station and paid so much toll for 
each call. Telephoning could then be done as far 
as Chicago and St. Louis. It was not until 
1893 that long distance telephony, as we now 
have it, was accomplished. In that year mes- 
sages were first sent between New Tork and 
Chicago, and a few months later between Bos- 
ton and Chicago. 

The Central Union Telephone Company was 
a sub-licensed company of the Bell Telephone 
Company, which enjoyed a monopoly of the tele- 
phone business from its introduction by Alex- 
ander Graham Bell for nearly twenty years. In- 
dependent telephone companies did not thrive 
because of the reluctance of capital to invest in 
a law-.suit. But about 1900, when the Berliner 
patent was declared invalid, independent tele- 
phone business increased, especially in the rural 
parts of the United States, which had been neg- 
lected by the Bell Company. 

In 1901, the Ogle County Telephone Company 
was organized with a capital of $100,000. Its 
headquarters are at Rochelle. It has extended 
its lines throughout the county, giving both rural 
and town service, until now the phones which 
its subscribers use number between 2,300 and 
2,400. By its connection with the Inter-State 
Telephone Company, communication is held with 
all the surrounding counties. The service Is 

good and at a reasonable cost. The present offi- 
cers are: H. Wales, President; G. W. Hamlin, 
Vice-President; A. B. Sheadle, Secretary and 

Several years ago the Oregon Mutual Tele- 
lilione Company, the Polo Mutual Telephone Com- 
pany and the Grand Detour Mutual Telephone 
Company were organized. The object primarily 
in each instance was to furnish telephone com- 
munication to the farmers. That has in large 
measure been accomplished, but not in the man- 
ner that was anticipated. Each one of the three 
local, independent companies has formed busi- 
ness affiliations with the Bell Telephone Com- 
pany and is now a sub-licensed company of the 
latter. At the time of the organization of the 
above-mentioned mutual companies, the follow- 
ing named persons were the respective Presidents 
and Secretaries : At Oregon — John Harris and 

B. B. Bemis; at Polo— William Powell and C. 

C. Price ; at Grand Detour — Victor H. Bovey and 
Charles W. Johnston. 

Creston has a mutual telephone company — the 
Tri-County Mutual — that has continued its in- 
dependent organization and business since its 
beginning seven or eight .vears ago. Its capital 
Is $C,00O and the number of its phones 120. W. 
H. Dickinson is Secretary and E. C. Oakland, 







Ogle Countj- comprises a part of the Eleventh 
Masonic District of Illinois, and is under the 
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the State. 
There is assigned to each district, by the Grand 
IvOdge. one District Deputy Grand Master. 
William J. Emerson, of Oregon, is the present 
District Deputy and Grand Master of the Elev- 



enth District. At the present time two Grand 
Lecturers of ttie Grand Lodge of Illinois are 
residents of Oregon, viz. : C. M. Babbitt and 
Dr. B. A. Cottlow. 


The Masonic bodies throughout the county are 
In a very flouvisbing condition, many of the 
Lodges owning fine properties on which they 
have erected Masonic Temples, which are not 
only a credit to the Order but to the towns in 
which they are located. 


The first Masonic Lodge in Ogle County was 
organized in 1S48 at Oregon, and on October 3d 
of that year it received its charter from the 
Grand Lodge A. F. & A. M. of Illinois, as Jeru- 
salem Lodge No. 62, with William Little as Wor- 
.sbipful Master. Being unable to maintain its 
organization, the charter was revoked by the 
Grand Lodge October 4, 1853. From that time 
Oregon was without a Masonic Lodge until 
1863, when Oregon Lodge No. 420, A. F. & A. M., 
was organized, receiving a charter from the 
Grand Dodge on October 5th, 1864, with Ruel 
Thorp as Worshipful Master. Oregon Lodge, 
No. 420. now has a momberslilp of 14.j. The 
principal officers are, H. E. Wade, W. M., John 

D. Mead, Sec'y. Meetings are held the first 
Wednesday on or before full moon. 

Rock River Chapter, No. 151, Royal Arch 
Masons, of Oregon, 111., was organized and re- 
ceived a charter from the Grand Chapter of 
Illinois, October 6, 1871, with W. E. Thorp as 

E. High Priest. The Chapter has a present 
membership of 101. The officers are, J. Sears, 
E. H. P.. John C. Mattison, Sec'y. Meetings are 
held on the third Tuesday of each month. 

Sinnissippi Chapter, No. .324, Order Eastern 
Star, was organized at Oregon, 111., January 24, 
1896, and received its charter from the Grand 
Chapter O. E. S. of Illinois, October 15, 1896, 
with Anna Spoor, Worthy Matron, Asa Dimon, 
Worthy Patron, W. L. Middlekauff, Sec'y. The 
Chapter has a membership of about 125. Offi- 
cers, Bessie Hopkins, W. Matron; J. Sears, W. 
Patron; E. F. Davis, Sec'y. Meetings first and 
third Tuesdays of each month. 

Mount Morris. 

The second Masonic Lodge organized in Ogle 
County was located at Mt. Morris, Samuel H. 
Davis Lodge, No. 90, receiving a charter from 

the Grand Lodge of Illinois, October 6, 1851, 
with Isaiah Wilcoxon, W. Master. On October 
5, 1864, Forreston Lodge, No. 413, was organized 
and received a charter from the Grand Lodge, 
but in 1876 it was consolidated, by and with the 
consent of the Grand Lodge, with Samuel H. 
Davis Lodge, No. 96, with O. H. Swingley, W. 
Master. The Lodge has a present membership 
of 50, with S. E. Avey, W. JIaster, and J. G. 
Miller, Sec'y. Meetings held first and third 
Monda.vs of each month. 


Mystic Tie Lodge, No. 187, A. P. & A. M., Polo, 
111., was organized November 13, 1855, and re- 
ceived a charter from the Grand Lodge of Illi- 
nois. October 6, 1855, with James C. Luckey as 
W. Master. The Lodge has a present member- 
ship of 83. The officers are, William T. Schell, 
W. JIaster. and Samuel Goldsmith, Sec'y. Meet- 
ings first and third Thursdays of each month. 

Tyrian Chapter, No. 61, R. A. M., Polo, III., 
was the first chapter organized in Ogle County, 
receiving a charter from the Grand Chapter of 
Illinois, September 27. 1861, with James C. 
Luckey, E. H. Priest. The Chapter has a pres- 
ent membership of 48. Officers : Scott Donald- 
son, E. H. P., and Samuel Goldsmith, Sec'y. 
Meetings every Monday evening. 

Corinthian Chapter, No. 412, O. E. S., Polo, 
111., has a membership of 71. Its officers are, 
Flora Hammer, W. Matron ; Albert Foster. W. 
Patron ; Ella Brand. Sec'y. Meetings on second 
and fourth Tuesdays of each month. 


Horicon Lodge, No. 244, A. F. & A. M., of 
Rochelle, 111., was organized and received a 
charter from the Grand Lodge of Illinois, Octo- 
ber 7, 1857, with D. A. Baxter as W. Master. 
Its present membership is 116. The officers are, 
George Moore, W. Master, and W. B. McHenry, 
Sec'y. Meetings first and third Tuesdays of 
each month. 

Rochelle Chapter, No. 1.58, R. A. M., received 
its charter from the Grand Chapter of Illinois, 
October 30. 1873. It has a present membership 
of 102, with W. B. McHenry, E. H. P. Meetings 
are bold second and fourth Fridays of each 

Salome Chapter, No. 372. O. E. S., was organ- 
ized and received its charter from the Grand 
Chapter O. E. S. of Illinois, April 16, 1897, with 
Mrs. Emma Brundage, W. Matron ; E. A. Ward, 


W. Patron, and Julia Morris, Sec'y. Salome 
Chapter has a membership of 150. Its officers 
are, Laura Patterson, W. Matron ; Fred W. 
Craft, W. Patron ; Maude E. Vaile, Sec'y. Meet- 
ings first and third Thursdays of each month. 

Byron Lodge, No. 274, A. F. & A. M., of Byron. 
111., received its charter from the Grand Lodge 
of Illinois is 1S5S, with Charles F. Wertz as 
W. Master, and Eleazer Lockwood, Sec'y. Byron 
Lodge has a membership of 5S. Its officers are, M. Heald, W. blaster ; Lyman Dexter. 
Sec'y. Meetings on third Thursday of each 

Byron Chapter, No. .394, O. E. S.. was organ- 
ized at Byron, 111., February 8, 189S, with Ada 
Woodburn, W. Matron ; S. B. Shuart, W. Patron, 
and Helen Woodcock, Sec'y. The Chapter has a 
present membership of 50. Officers : Ida D. 
Smith, W. Matron; G. E. Smith, W. Patron; 
Emma Rosier, Sec'y. Meetings are held third 
Tuesday of each month. 


Creston Lodge, No. 320, A. F. & A. M., of 
Creston, 111., received its charter from the Grand 
Lodge of Illinois, October, 1859, with Asa Dimon, 
W. Master. The Lodge has a present member- 
ship of 50. Officers: Thomas W. Fowler, W. 
Master ; H. V. Linn, Sec'y. Meetings on first 
Monday of each month. 


Meridian Sun Lodge, No. 505, A. F. & A. M., 
of Holcomb, 111., received its charter from the 
Grand Lodge of Illinois In 1865. The Lodge has 
a membership of 91. Its officers are, E. F. 
Gates, W. Master; F. E. Sheaff, Secy. Meet- 
ings Saturday on or before full moon. 

Holcomb Chapter, No. 455, O. E. S., of Hol- 
comb, II]., was instituted March 21, 1900, under 
dispensation from the Grand Chapter O. E. S. 
of Illinois, with Mrs. E. E. Stanbury, W. Ma- 
tron ; Calvin Oaks, W. Patron ; R. L. Heydecker, 
Sec'y- The Chapter has a membership of 6S. 
The officers are, Mrs. H. Willoughby, W. Ma- 
tron ; Walter Smart, W. Patron; Edna Archi- 
bald, Sec'y. Meetings first Tuesday on or before 
full moon. 

The following embraces a list of the principal 
Odd Fellows and auxiliary organizations in Ogle 

c:ouiity. with date of organization, charter mem- 
bers and present officers : 

Hall of Hickory Grove Lodge I. O. O. F., No. 
230, instituted at Rochelle, May 12, 1857. Char- 
ter members. Miles TenEycke, David M. Smiley, 
J. B. Barber, J. P. Nettleton, and J. M. Hunter. 
Present officers, D. C. Russell, N. G. ; Albert 
Fogle, V. G. ; A. M. Peck, Sec'y; J. O. McCon- 
aughy, Treas. 

Mt. Morris. 

Elysian Lodge, No. 56, I. O. O. F., instituted 
at Mt. Morris, 111., December 22, 1S74, by Past 
Grand Master James S. Ticknor of Rockford. 
The first officers were: Noble Grand, J. M. 
Smith; Vice Grand, A. E. King; Sec'y, Elija 
Lott ; Treas., Benj. G. Stevens. The present offi- 
cers are: W. G. Freeman, N. G. ; W. E. Mc- 
Cready, V. G. ; Fred Fredriekson, Sec'y; W. H. 
Miller. Per. Sec'y : A. M. Newcomer, Treas. 

Leaf River. 

Leaf River Lodge. No. 167. I. O. O. F., was 
instituted March 1, 1901. First officers: Noble 
Grand, Herman Johnson ; Vice Grand, H. E. 
Bowerman; Rec. Sec., W. S. Mitchell; Treas., 
S. M. Graves. Present officers : Noble Grand, 
A. Malone; Vice Grand, W. M. Smith; Rec. Sec, 
H. P. Miller; Treas., J. W. Foster. 


Polo Lodge, I. O. O. F., No. 197, was insti- 
tuted March 1.3, 1856. with 60 charter members. 
The first officers were: Robert Fisher, N. G. ; 
Ira Demander. V. G. ; Benj. Walkey, Sec'y ; John 
H. Jay. Treas. The present membership is 142. 
Present officers : Harry Miller, N. G. ; Maynard 
Waterbury. V. G. ; Glen Stevenson, Sec'y; Chas. 
H. Johnson. Per. Sec'y ; Henry Wolf, Treas. 
Trustees: E. G. Randall, L. F. Thomas, W. T. 
Smith, J. C. Smith, William Striekler. 


White Oak Lodge, No. 667, I. O. O. F., Forres- 
ton. 111., was instituted December 23, 1879, with 
seven charter members. First officers : Noljle 
Grand, A. Omelia ; Vice Grand, J. J. Mann ; Sec, 
D. G. Allen ; Treas., F. F. Nicodemus. Present 
officers : F. M. Billig. N. G. ; John R. Link, V. 
G. ; D. G. AJIen, Sec. ; F. F. Nicodemus, Treas. 




Linden Lodge No. 829, was instituted, Jan. 4, 
1895, by the subordinate Lodge of Rochelle, witli 
13 charter members, viz. : D. C. Stocliing, Frank 
Bird, Peter C. Arends, Samuel Wright, Franli- 
lin J. Bailey, Alexander Hill, William J. Bell, 
Arthur Arends, Cassius E. Perry, Benjamin F. 
Hess, William J. Button, George Jones, James 
Walker. The first officers were: D. C. Stocking, 
X. G. ; Sam'l Wright, V. G. ; Frank F. Bird, 
Secy. ; Peter C. Arends, Treas. ; Franklin J. Bai- 
ley, Conductor ; Benj. F. Hess, Warden. In 1898 
the Lodge built a fine lodge room with store un- 
derneath. There are now 67 members in good 
standing. The present oflicers are : W. H. Perry, 
N. G. ; Richard Peters, V. G. ; Ohas. Spring, 
Secy.; John B. Struble, Treas.; Philip Powers, 
Conductor ; Willis Talbot, Warden ; Harry Stew- 
ard, Chaplain. 


Rock River Encampment. No. 154, I. O. O. F., 
instituted Dec. 3, 1888. Charter members, 230. 
"First officers: T. M. Bacon, C. Post; J. S. San- 
ders, H.;; Jos. Webb. S. Warden; F. S. 
Burchell, Scribe; H. P. Lason, Treas.; A. M. 
Newcomer, J. Warden. Present officers : N. F. 
Carpenter, C. P. ; Victor Olson, H. Priest : Chas. 
Reed, S. Warden; H. Lebowich, J. Warden; L. 
V. Rumery, Treas. ; F. C. Potter, Scribe. 


The Order of Rebekahs was organized under 
the auspices of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, as the outcome of resolutions adopted at 
the meeting of the Grand Lodge of the latter or- 
der held in 1850, Schuyler Colfax of Indiana, 
afterward Vice President of the United States, 
being a principal factor In securing that result, 
the object of the order as an auxiliary of the Odd 
rel]ov\'s organization being to visit the sick, re- 
lieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate 
the orphan. Mr. Colfax prepared the lectures 
and charges of the new order, which were adopted 
at the meeting of the Grand Lodge held in Sep- 
tember, 1851. The first Rebekah Lodge of Illi- 
nois was instituted at Ottawa, January 14, 1870. 

Mixpah Lodge. No. I(l2. the first Lodge of the 
Order in Ogle County, was instituted at For- 
reston. June 18. 18.Sf!, the first officers being; C. 

E. Nicodemus, N. G. ; Kate Omelia, V. G. ; Nellie 
Mumma, Sec. ; E. C. Miller, Treas. The char- 
ter members were: Mr. John Miller, Mrs. E. C. 
Miller, Mr. S. W. Mumma, C. E. Nicodemus, A. 
Omelia, M. D. Stover, I. J. Vogelgesang, H. H. 
Miller, A. P. Seas, S. Seas, Mr. Fickenger, N. 
Mumma, S. Nicodemus, Kate Omelia, C. Miller, 
Amanda Seas. Kate Seas, Annie Muhring, Kate 


Good Samaritan Lodge, No. 140, of Oregon, 
was instituted March 2, 1893. First officers : C. 
Olsen, N. G. ; Maud A. Lason, V. G. ; Etta Olson, 
Rec. See. ; Mrs. Webb, Fin. Sec, and Irene 
Thayer, Treas. The 35 charter members were: 
Brothers— L. V. Rumery, F. E. Thayer, F. M. 
Gilbert, C. H. Chamberlin, C. Olson, F. S. Bur- 
chell. F. E. Reynolds, O. H. Wade, H. P. Larson, 

F. A. Jewett, D. Stout, F. Webb, F. S. Saunders, 
W. F. Carpenter. D. J. Hawu, Z. Snyder, A. Tiee. 

Sisters — Alice Rumery, Irene Thayer, Nancy 
Jewett, Orissa Hawn, Mary L. Chamberlin, 
Louisa Burchell, Mary Stout, Electa Reynolds, 
Addie Welty, H. Elizabeth Wade. Alice Cariwn- 
ter, Alice Waggoner, Elizabeth A. Gilbert, 
Frances Snyder, Linnie Welib, Etta Olson, Maud 
A. Lason, Jennie Tice. 


Rochelle Rebekah Lodge No. 471, of Rochelle, 
was instituted November 6, 1896, with 52 char- 
ter members. First officers : Amelia A. MeCon 
aughy. N. G. : Lucy Furlong. V. G. ; Agnes H 
O'Brien, Sec. ; Flora Baker, Fin. Sec. ; Alletta L. 
Parker, Treas. The Charter members were : 

Brothers— J. L. Spath. Jas. P. O'Brien, Stew 
art J. Baker, Thomas Baker, Wm. Baker, Her 
bert Smart, Julius Howard, Duane C. Stocking, 
Edw. L. Cooper, Joseph Parker, George Luxton 
John S. Neil, Robert E. Rae, Chas. M. Hayes 
R. L. Walters, J. T. Lynn, W. J. Furlong, M. P 
Crossette. J. O. McConaughy, S. M. Boyle, Fred 
Larsen, Alex Forrest, Daniel Ringle, Euclid 
Beech, S. J. Pai-ker, Geo. W. Unger, Ellis Kirk, 
Chns. Dunham, Wm. Burgess, F. W. Clark. 

Sisters — Rhetta Howard, Laura Baker, Flora 
Baker. Mary T. Baker, Ella O'Brien, Lucy Fur- 
long, Anna Forrest, Marth Kirk, Armilda Cooper 
Minnie Luxton, Elizabeth Nuge, Alma C. Lynn 
Lucretia Ringle, Agnes H. O'Brien. Eva M. Wal 
ters, Delia M. Lynn. Rhoda Walters, Filda Lar- 
sen. Aletta L. Parker, Anna Spath. Amelia A, 
McConaughy, Florence Parker. 






Mt. Moebis. 

Sandstone Rebekah Lodge, No. o3S, Jit. Morris. 
was instituted Feb. 14, 1899. Fii'st officers; 
Julia Slater, X. G. ; Laura Lizer, A'. G. ; H. G. 
Newcomer, Sec. ; Maude Rowe, F. Sec. ; Edna 
Newcomer, Treas. The charter members were : 

Brothers — L. E. Lizer, H. G. Newcomer, Harry 
Knodle, Edward Slater, W. H. Miller, Fred 
Fredrickson. A. M. Newcomer, W. B. MeCready, 
Samuel Rowe. 

Sisters — Edna Newcomer, Maude Rowe, Lizzie 
Lizer, Alice Nail, Julia Slater, Elizabeth Me- 
Cready, Anna Rowe, Nora Knodle, Laura Lizer, 
Ella Miller. Laura J. Newcomer, Fannie Fred- 


Marco Polo Rebekah Lodge, No. .334, of Polo, 
was Instituted March 29, 1901. First officers: 
Belle Wilson, N. G. ; Elsie Johnson, y. G. ; Mar- 
tha Summers, Sec; Delia Miller, Treas. The 
charter members were : 

Brothers — Alex Anderson, Samuel Croft, H. 
Becker, John Dick, C. J. Schryver, G. B. Treat, 
I. C. Smith, C. A. Dingley, L. E. Prather, R. B. 
Anderson, W. P. Schryver, George Cro.-s, C. W. 
Wilson, P. W. Wilson, Charlie Johnson. 

Sisters — Emma Croft, Jennie Wilson, Laura 
Smith, Minnie Bope, Elizabeth Barnes, Nettie 
Kidder, Grace Freisenberger, Lizzie Prather, Sa- 
rah Kline, Agnes Anderson, Martha Dick, Delia 
Miller. Maud Bamborough, Nettie Schryver, 
Katherine Schryver, Nellie O'Kane, Carrie Lan- 
don, Elsie Johnson, Anna Dingley, Martha Schry- 
ver, Jessie Wilson, Belle Wilson. .Alartha Sum- 


Lindenwood Lodge, No. 197. was instituted 
June 1, 1900, by Mrs. Amelia McConaughy. as- 
sisted by the Degree Staff of Roehelle Lodge. 
First officers: Ida M. Spring, N. G. : Florence 
H. Bailey, V. G. ; Mary A. Slattery. Rec. Sec: 
Sara E. Stocking, Fin. Sec. ; Alma Stocking, 
Treas. The charter members were : 

Sisters — Ida M. Spring. Florence H. Bailey, 
Mary A. Slattery, Sara E. Stocking, Alma Stock- 
ing, Elizabeth Batty. Sadie L. Cook. Kathryn U. 
Hess, Mary A. Stocking, Jennie M. Stanbury. 
Georgia Davis, Lizzie Nash. Anna Steward, So- 
phia Wright, Annie Greenway. Zillah Holmes, 
Helen Spring. 

Brothers — C. E. Perry, Horace Stocking, Henry 
Batty. Milton Stocking. D. M. Slatterj'. Chas. 

Nash, O. L. Treadwell, E. E. Stanbury, B. P. 
Hess, O. D. Talbot, Samuel Wright, Elmer Stock- 
ing, Joseph T. Luff. Harry Steward, Willis Tal- 
bot, C. B. Spring. Wm. Hills. 


At this time (1908) Camps of Modern Wood- 
men of America are flourishing at the following 
named places in Ogle County: Adeline, Byron, 
Ghana, Creston, Davis Junction, Forreston, Plagg 
Station, Grand Detour, Kings, Leaf River, Mon- 
roe Center, Mount Jlorris, Oregon, Paines Point, 
Polo, Roehelle, Stillman Valley, Woosung. In 
some of the places named are also Camps of the 
sister organization, the Royal Neighbors. 

Economy Camp. 131. M. W. A., Oregon, was re- 
organized Jan. 31, 1895, by Deputj- J, S. Grim 
with 15 charter members. Since that time the 
camp has grown to 155 members at the present 
time. Eleven members' beneficiaries have been 
paid .«15..500 since the reorganization. The reg- 
ular meetings occur on the first and third Thurs- 
days of each month in Woodman Hall. Neigh- 
bor J. A. Heinert has acted as presiding officer 
or Council since the reorganization, excepting the 
first year term, when F. E. Grow acted as Coun- 
cil. The present officers are: J. A. Heinert, 
Council ; Glenn Heinert, Clerk ; Chas. Eyster, 
Banker ; Archa Campbell. Escort ; Geo, Hettiger, 
Clyde Myers, Dr. B. B. Bemirs, Malnagers. 

Rock River Camp, Royal Neighbors of Amer- 
ica. No. 3023, was organized April 24, 1902, at 
Oregon, 111., with 15 charter members. Meetings 
are held in Woodman Hall on the second and 
fourth Thursday evenings each month. The first 
officers were : Oracle, Alice Perry ; Vice Oracle, 
Loretta Gale ; Recorder, Hattie P. Bemis ; Man- 
agers — Mary Barden, William Stout, Susie Eys- 
ter. Present membership, 40 ; present officers : 
Gertrude Eeten, Oracle; Ella Caspers, Vice Or- 
acle; Nettie Heinert, Recorder. Managers — J. 
A. Heinert, Sa^ie Eyster, Mae Tice. 

Mystic Workers of the World. 

Robert S. Cowan Lodge, No. 118. Oregon, 111., 
a subordinate lodge of the Mystic Workers of 
the World, a fraternal beneficiary society char- 
tered in 1890, wa.". organized March. 1904, with a 
charter membership of 160. The first officers 
were: L. H. A'alentine, Prefect; Miss Jessie 
Salzman, Monitor; Lawrence Fischer, Secretary; 
H. C. Jewett, Banker ; Mrs. Lulu Rees. Marshal ; 



A. P. Campbell, Warder; Clark I. Bettis, Senti- 
nel ; E. E. Bemis, E. B. Jones and Robert F. 
Adams, Supervisors; T. K. Farley and H. H. 
Sheets, physicians. The lodge was instituted by 
J. R. Adams of Piano, and enjoys the distinction 
of being the largest charter member lodge of the 
order ever organized. The presiding officer at 
the organization was Fred Zick, of Polo, and the 
respective chairs were filled by members of the 
Polo lodge. The first meetings were held in 
Woodman Hall over the F. G. Jones Co. store, 
and the lodge has been prosperous, having a 
membership of over 200. 

Forreston, Leaf River, Mount Morris, Polo and 
Rochelle, each has a thriving lodge of this order. 


CouBT OF Honor. — This organization flourished 
twenty years ago, but the only organization now 
in Ogle County is at Leaf River. 

Knights of the Gi.obe.-;jA garrison of this 
society was organized at Mount Morris in 1891, 
the charter being granted under name of Dick 
Yates Garrison, No. 31, August 2S, 1900. Pine 
Creek Township and Byron also have each a 

The Teomex of America. Oregon Lodge was 
organized by Fred B. Silsbee. formerly of Ore- 
gon. At present Charles H. Saner is President 
and Frank C. Potter Secretary. 

Knights or Columbus. — Oregon Council, No. 
1092, K. of C, have the following officers for 
1909 : Grand Knight, John Mertel ; Deputy Grand 
Knight, Thomas Meade; Financial Secretary, 
Norman J. Heekman ; Recording Secretary, Nich- 
olas Sauer ; Treasurer, Patric Hoar ; Warden, 
John M. Connors ; Chaplain, Rev. Andrew J. 
Burns ; Chancellor, Bert S. Schneider ; Advocate, 
Joseph Holland : Inside Guard. Earl Meade ; Out- 
side Guard, William McGuire; Trustee, Charles 
J. Schneider ; Delegate to State Convention, 
Charles Schneider, Sr. ; Alternate to Grand 
Knight, Thomas E. Colloton ; Alternate to Past 
Grand Knight, Patric Hoar ; Guard to Grand 
Knight, William Bursing; Guard to Deputy 
Grand Knight, A. H. Miller. 





Mrs. Mary I. Wood, Chairman of the Bureau 
of Information of the General Federation of Wo- 
men's Clubs, in "Madame," says, "Speaking to an 
audience of intelligent and thoughtful people, 
an eminent educator recently said : 'When the his- 
tory of this period c-omes to be written, it will 
be recognized that from 18T0 to 1900 was a 
period of greater significance than any former 
two hundred years, and out of that whole time 
of thirty years, that which will be recognized as 
the most significant, the most far-reaching, will 
be the movement that is represented by women's 
clubs.- ■• 

This movement now has passed its initial stage, 
and it is difficult to trace its origin. It seems 
to have been Topsy-like. and "jest grow'd." It 
is unquestionably true, however, that Miss 
Frances Willard and the great body of the Wo- 
man's Christian Temperance Union workers. 
Miss Susan B. Anthony, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady 
Stanton, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, Mrs. Mary A. 
Livermore and the Equal Suffragists, and, per- 
haps, the evolution of the old-time, helpful sew- 
ing societies of the churches, and the Chautau- 
qua plan for home study, had much to do with 
arousing the interest of women and turning their 
energies into newer and broader channels, as 
well as the changing of conditions in the indus- 
trial life which have taken away from the home 
so much of the work formerly done in it — such 
as the spinning, the weaving of cloth, the knit- 
ting, and the making of the garments for the 
entire family. 

From the forming of individual clubs, followea 
logically, in the course of time, the union of these 
separate clubs into federated organizations, and 
so to-day each Congressional District In the State 
has its District Federation ; the State, its State 
Federation, and the United States, including 
Ala<k:i. Hawaiian Islands and the Canal Zone. 



its General Federation of Women's Clubs. Start- 
ing with tlie individual club, tbis makes a sym- 
metrically organized and simple-working system 
of federations, or union, the work being carried 
on through various committees. The General Fed- 
eration was formed in 1890, Mrs. J. C. Croly 
("Jennie June"), of New York, and Mrs. Julia 
Ward Howe, of Massachusetts, being active in 
its formation; Mrs. Charlotte Emerson Brown, 
of New Jersey, was its first President. Mrs. 
Sarah S. Piatt Decker, of Denver, hag just com- 
pleted four years of admirable work as Presi- 
dent, succeeded at the Ninth Biennial Meeting iu 
Boston, in June, 190S, by Mrs. Philip N. Moore, 
of St. Louis. Mrs. Moore was, before her mar- 
riage. Miss Eva Perry, of Roekford, 111., and a 
graduate of Vassar College. The Illinois Federa- 
tion of Women's Clubs was organized in 1889. 
The State Presidents have been, Mrs. H. H. Can- 
dee, Cairo ; Mrs. Robert Hall Wiles, Freeport 
and Chicago ; Mrs. Robert Bruce Farson, Chi- 
cago ; Mrs. Thaddeus P. Stanwood, Evanston ; 
Mrs. George Robert Bacon, Decatur; Mrs. James 
Frake, Chicago ; Mrs. George Watklns, Chicago ; 
each sen-ing two years. Mrs. Francis D. Everett, 
of Highland Park, is now the President. The 
District Federation, of the Thirteenth Congres- 
sional District, was formed at Frefeport, April 
22, 1899. Mrs. L. K. Wynn. of Sterling, is the 
present District Vice-President. In December, 
1908, the numlier of individual members in the 
federated clubs was about 800,000. Many in- 
dividual clubs, though doing valuable work, have 
not joined any of the federations. It is estimat- 
ed that the entire number of club women, there- 
fore, greatly exceeds this number. 

Ogle County has shared in the development of 
this club movement, and the fair sex of the coun- 
ty has contributed a full quota of study, work 
and influence. As far as possible a record of 
this is given In the following accounts prepared 
with the assistance of several club women active 
in the work in the county : 

Golden Glow Girl's Club, Ghana.— The first 
picnic was held is 1905, but no real organization 
was made till the time of the second picnic, Aug- 
ust 10, lOOfi, when the follo\\'ing officers were 
elected : President, Bessie Andrew ; Vice-Presi- 
dent, Nellie Hershberger ; Treasurer, Mate Bur- 
right ; Secretary, Effa Mitchell. In 1908, the 
annual picnic was held August 14th, and the 
following officers were elected : President, Jes- 

sie Emerson; First Vice-President, Edith Grant; 
Second Vice-President, Bessie Hardesty ; Treas- 
urer, Emma Canfield; Secretary, Maude Aznor; 
Assistant Secretary, Effa Mitchell. The member- 
ship, in 1908. numbered 27 residents of Pine 
Rock Township. Six of the girls having married, 
are no longer members. To the girls who marry 
is given "a shower," and they must pay a fine 
upon that event, which goes towards "a treat" 
for the next picnic. 

The Jolly Sewing Club, Haldane. — Organ- 
ized April, 1907, with twelve members, its first 
officers were: President. Mrs. Ralph Kitzmiller; 
Vice-President, Mrs. Dale Rae; Secretary, Mrs. 
Floward Harmon. Officers 1908 : President, Mrs. 
Ralph Kitzmiller ; Vice-President, Mrs. Henry 
Bass; Secretary, Mrs. Dale Rae. Object, social 

The Fleur-de-Lis Chautauqua Club, Hol- 
coMB. — This Club was organized is October, 1002, 
with t^-elve members. The officers elected were: 
President, Mrs. Eudora Sheaff; Vice-President, 
Miss Donna Henderson ; Secretai-y and Treas- 
urer, Mrs. Ella Sheaf!;. These officers have been 
re-elected each succeeding year. Nine of the 
members completed the course in 1906 and receiv- 
ed their diplomas at Roekford. The club at pres- 
ent consists of nine members, all graduates who 
continue the Chautauqua course readings. 

Current Events Club, Mount Morris. — The 
first club in Jlount Morris, now known as the 
Current Events Club, was organized January, 
189G. First officers: Pi-esident, Mrs. R. C. Mc- 
Credie; Vice-President, Mrs. George B. McQosh ; 
Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. Ira W. Wingert. 
Present officers : President, Mrs. George B. 
McCosh; Vice-President, Mrs. W. H. Miller; 
Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. A. W. Neff. Its 
work has been along literaiy lines, the study of 
English and American literature, and, latterly, 
current events. Some work for public improve- 
ment has been done. 

Fortnightly Club. Mount Morris. — Literary 
club, organized in 1904, with Mrs. J. F. Canode 
as President and only officer. Officers in 1908 : 
President. Mrs. J. F. Canode ; Vice-President, 
Mrs. Frank Coffman ; Secretary, Miss Minnie 
Rohrer ; Treasurer, Mrs. George V. Farwell. 

Woman's Social Club, between Mount Mor- 
ris AND Polo. — Organized in the country between 



Mount Morris and Polo, April. 1902. First offi- 
cers : President, Miss Eva Hammer ; Secretary 
and Treasurer, Miss Olive Dierdorff. Officers 
1908: President, Mrs. Olive Betebeuuer ; Secre- 
tary, Mrs. George Getzendanner. Object, social 
entertainment, particularly in winter. 

Thimble Club, Mount Morris. — Organized 
1902, Mrs. Lucy Hormell Spalding, President. 
Present officers : President, Mrs. Emory Cutts ; 
Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. Charles Wlshard. 

Ladies' Philanthropic Sewing Society, of 
Oregon.— On June 29, 1850, the "Ladies' Phil- 
anthropic Sewing Society" of Oregon was organ- 
ized with Mrs. Anna M. Edminster, President, 
its object being "to encourage a more extended 
spirit of public enterprise and benevolence, and 
of promoting a warmer sympathy of thought and 
good feeling.'' The membership was 36 with 12 
honorary members (gentlemen). The records 
show that the ladies did a variety of sewing — ■ 
such as making shirts, coats, vests, ladies' dresses 
and trimming bonnets. At their first meeting — 
on July 5. lS.50^they voted to appropriate the 
first surplus money to furnishing the pulpit of 
the Lutheran Church, then being built. On 
October 10, 1850, they held a Fair — of fancy ar- 
ticles, and also served refreshments. 

They realized $53.00 and at their next meet- 
ing voted to loan $50.00 to Mr. John Etnyre at 
10 per cent interest and a bonus of .$2.50 per 

Their next object was to purchase a bell, and 
on Augnst 26, 1851, and the same old bell still 
hangs in the belfry of the new Lutheran Church 
and was rung for many years on all public oc- 
casions, such as tovm and political meetings, 
sessions of court, etc. The only living members 
of the society are Mrs. Amanda Peck and Mrs. 
Dr. Potter, of Oregon. 

The Xew Atlantis, Oregon. — Organized Octo- 
ber 25. 1893, by women who had belonged to a 
history club consisting of men and women, the 
latter members being the nucleus of the new 
organization. The pioneer club consisted entirely 
of women and was the first club to meet after- 
noons. Mrs. Julia AV. Peek was leader for the 
first year : was permanently organized July 27. 
1894. with Mrs. Peek President; Mrs. Alice E. 
Light, Vice-President; Miss Ida K. Boyd. Secre- 
tary and Treasurer. A constitution was adopted 
June, 1895. l-he club has studied English and 

American history and literature, ancient, medie- 
val and modern ai-t, current history and litera- 
ture. Present officers : Mrs. Peek, President ; 
Jlrs. Elizabeth B. Hastings, Vice-President; Mrs. 
Eva G. Etnyre, Secretary and Treasurer. 

Chautauqua Circle, Oregon. — The Chautau- 
qua Circle of Oregon was organized is 18^, Rev. 
J. K. Reed, leader. Some of the members were 
Mrs. James H. Cartwright, Jlrs. John SheafE, 
Mrs. H. E. Wade, JIi-s. Lucy Rutledge, Miss 
Katie Fischer, Mrs. Grace Gantz Fischer. The 
course was continued for several years ; the study 
of birds was a part of the work undertaken. 

The Victoria Club, Oregon. — This club was 
first organized as "The Clionia," and re-organ- 
ized in 1905 under its present name, "The Vic- 
toria ;" object, the study of literature and social 
enjoyment. The first officers were: President, 
Mrs. E. D. Etnyre; Secretary and Treasurer, 
Mrs. James C. Fesler. Officers for 1908: Presi- 
dent, Mrs. E. H. Wade ; Vice-President, Miss Eliz- 
abeth Crowell ; Mrs. Jerome F. Cox ; Secretary, 
Mrs. Matilda J. Stroh. At one time it belonged 
to the District Federation. 

Delphian Club, Oregon. — The Delphian Club 
was first organized as a Chapter of the Univer- 
,sity Association in 1806. for the study of uni- 
versal history, for .some time thereafter both 
men and women being included as members. 
Among the charter members were Miss Adalaide 
M. Steele, Mrs. J. A. Barden, Misses Mary Mix. 
Lida Mix, Emm.i J. Campbell, and Ruby E. Nash ; 
Messrs. Ernest Xan Patten. W. M. Forkel, W. J. 
Emerson, and Evan L. Reed. The officers for 
1903 were: President, Mrs. J. A. Barden; Vice- 
President. Mi-s. S. W. Crowell : Secretary and 
Treasurer. Miss Grace E. Smith. 

The Umzoowes, Oregon. — This club, originally 
"tlie Doves" was organized under the Indian 
name. "Umzoowe" (Pleasure Seekers), in 1897, 
with Ida Marshall (Mrs. J. T. Fredinnick). 
President; Laura Sanderson (Mrs. Packard). 
Vice-President; .\lice Sears (Mrs. A. G. Baker). 
Secretary and Treasurer. Its purpose was that 
the young ladies belonging hold an annual picnic 
the last Wednesday of July. Of the 2.35 members 
whose signatures appear on the Secretary's book, 
the majority have paid the "fine of ninety-nine 
cents after entering upon the bonds of matri- 
mony." which forfeits membership. Every year 
after the day's festivities, the deserving poor are 



remembered with boxes and baskets of the good 
things remaining. Tlie officers elected for 1908 
were : President, Elizabeth Hastings ; First 
Vice-President, Selma Walberg; Second Vice- 
President, Florence Gale; Third Vice-President, 
Alice Maynard : Secretary and Treasurer. 
Blanche Babbitt. 

Home Ccltuee Club, Oeegon. — The Home Cul- 
ture Club was organized in September, 1S9S. with 
three members. Its object was mutual improve- 
ment along' literary lines. The only officer 
was the President. Mrs. L. V. Nash. At present 
there are fourteen active members, with Mrs. 
T. A. Jewett as President, and Mrs. M. Allen, 

The New Century Club, Oregon. — Organized 
in 1000 as a greeting of the incoming century. 
The first officers were : President, Miss Lillie 
Ray ; Vice-President, Miss Evelyn Nye ; Secre- 
tary and Treasurer, Miss Lillie Seibert. The 
object is literary study. Officers for 1908 : Presi- 
dent. Mrs. R. F. Nye; Vice-President, Mrs. F. R. 
Robinson ; Secretary and Treasurer, Miss Mary 

Two-Penny Club, Oregon. — A Thimble Club, 
organized January 26, 1905. and meeting once a 
week, each member bringing with her to the 
meeting two pennies to go into the club treas- 
ury, and to be used in making and providing 
clothing and provisions for the poor. First offi- 
cers : President, Mrs. Emma J. Herbert ; Secre- 
tary. Mrs. W. A. Waldle; Treasurer, Mrs. Frank 
Potter. Officers 1908 : President, Mrs. Emma J. 
Herbert ; Secretary, Mrs. Kate Brown ; Treas- 
urer. Mrs. Addie Welty. This club celebrated 
the third .inniversary of its organization by open- 
ing a Rest Room for the comfort and entertain- 
ment of the farmers' wives and families of the 
near neighborhood and the county. An apart- 
ment for this purpose was supplied by the Board 
of Supervisors, situated in the southeast comer 
of the basement of the Court House. This rest 
room is comfortably furnished, is provided with 
an attendant, and is kept hospitably open every 

Oregon Woman's Council. — In November, 
1901, a call signed by Mrs. J. C. Fesler, Mrs. 
H. C. Peek, Mrs. E. D. Etnyre. was issued to the 
members of The Victoria, The Delphian, The 
New Atlantis, The Order of Eastern Star, the 
Rebekahs, The Woman's Relief Corps, The La- 

dies' Aid Societies, The Philanthropic Society, 
requesting its members to meet in the County 
Clerk's Office, Tuesday evening, November 12, 
to take steps toward forming an organization 
for the puriMse of furthering the welfare of the 
city. The result of this meeting was the forma- 
tion of the Oregon Woman's Council, which has 
from that time to the present enrolled among 
its members sixty-seven women interested in im- 
proving the place of their residence, both in re- 
gard to its civic beauty and its moral elevation. 
With commendable promptitude the movement 
was approved by the City Council iu the adop- 
tion of a series of resolutions offered by Alder- 
man Joseph Sears. 

The first officers were : President, Mrs. Rebec- 
ca H. Kauffman ; First Vice-President, Mrs. 
Julia W. Peek; Second Vice-President, itrs. Har- 
riet M. Etnyre ; Recording Secretary, Mrs. Eva 
G. Etnyre ; Corresiwnding Secretary, Miss Ada- 
laide M. Steele; Treasurer, Mrs. Laura M. Fes- 
ler ; Directors, Mrs. Alice M. Rumery. Mrs. Hat- 
tie P. Bemis. Mrs. Verna M. Fearer. Mrs. Li- 
vonia Steffa, Mrs. Lillian Sears. These officers 
constitute a Board of Directors, who together 
with the aid of Committees carry on the work 
of the Council. The Standing Committees for 
Outdoor Work have been on Streets ; River 
Banks; Business Rears; School Grounds; Plant- 
ing of Shade and Fruit Trees, Shrubbery, Vines, 
and Fruits; Parks for Playgrounds for Chil- 
dren : Vacant Lots ; and Pine Woods Library. 

During the first years two departments were 
organized, viz. ; the Departments on Home and 
School Art Deeoration. The Home Department es- 
tablished a Kindergarten and carried on that 
work successfully for a time. The School Art 
Department, assisted by the entire Council, im- 
mediately set about holding an art exhibit in the 
Public School Building for the purpose of plac- 
ing pictures and statuary in all the rooms. Ow- 
ing to this effort the schoolrooms are enriched 
by numerous artistic adornments of real and 
lasting worth, the money value of which is now 
over five hundred dollars; the educational value 
is beyond calculation, and in addition to that, 
there has been started the custom of making 
gifts to the school. 

The motto of the Oregon Woman's Council is 
Carlyle's. "Do the duty which lies nearest thee, 
which thou knowest to be a duty! Thy second 
duty will already have !iecome clearer ;" and this 
guiding injunction is followed in the work un- 


dertaken. The Bill for the Purchase of the 
White Pine Woods of Ogle County, as a State 
Forest Reserve, with an appropriation of $30,- 
000, which was passed by the General Assembly 
of the State of Illinois in its session of 1903, and 
was vetoed by the Governor, was the next work 
"nearest" to the Woman's Council. ( See portions 
of Chapter I on "The White Pine Woods of 
Ogle County" and "Boulders.") 

In October, 1903, the Council joined the Illi- 
nois Federation of Woman's Clubs, since which 
time two of its members have served as repre- 
sentatives in State club work, viz.: Mrs. Peek, 
on the Library Committee, and Mrs. KaufEman, 
as Chairman of the Forestry Committee. This 
chairmanship gives a place on the Board of Di- 
rectors of the State Federation, and also a 
membership in the Forestry Committee of the 
General Federation, and from this resulted the 
stopping at Oregon, May 29, 1906, of the special 
official train on the Burlington Line taking the 
club women of Illinois to the biennial meeting 
of the General Federation at St. Paul, besides 
other favors in recognition of the work of the 
Oregon Council. The Council also helped to 
secure the donation for the new Carnegie Li- 
brary, and has a small sum now on interest in 
bank with which to add something to the in- 
terior of the completed building. 

The membership now numbers 31. Of the for- 
mer members some have moved to other places, 
some have dropped out of the work, one has been 
lost by death, and one has been married. There 
are fourteen honorai-j- members from among 
summer residents : Mrs. Charles Francis Browne, 
Mrs. Ra'ph Clarkson, Mrs. John B. Coulter, Mrs. 
Horace Spencer Fiske, Mrs. Oliver Dennett Gro- 
ver, Mrs. Hamlin Garland, Mrs. Wallace Heck- 
man, Mrs. Alfred Wright Hoyt, Miss Margaret 
Kinnear, Mrs. Frank O. Lowden, Mrs. E. H. 
Laughlin, Miss Hester B. Laughlin (now Mrs. 
C. E. Pfister), Mrs. E. A. Laughlin, Mrs. Lorado 
Taft. Mrs. James Spencer Dickerson, who was 
one of the honorary members, went on the long, 
long journey in Xrivember, 1907. The present offi- 
cers are : President, Rebecca H. Kauffman ; 
First Vice-President. Julia W. Peek; Second 
Vice-President, Laura C. March; Corresponding 
Secretary, Emma J. Burroughs; Recording Sec- 
retary. Jessie G. Salzman (Miss) ; Treasurer, 
Hattie P. Bemis ; Directors — Alice M. Rumery, 
Eva G. Etnyre, Lillian Sears, Kate E. Little, 
Elizabeth B. Hastings. 

The Shakspeare Club, of Polo, was organ- 
ized some time in 188-1 or 1885, its first President 
being Mrs. Burton. Its present officers are: Mrs. 
Mary Barber, President ; Miss Anne More, Vice- 
President ; Miss Olive Nichols, Secretary and 
Treasurer. Literature and Art are the subjects 
studied, especially Shakespeare's works. Archi- 
tecture, house decorations, pictures and authors 
have been included. 

Halcyon Club, Polo. — This club was organ- 
ized in 1886, its purpose being to do Chautau- 
qua work. Its first oflicers were : President, 
Mrs. Clendenning ; Secretary, Mrs. Geo. M. Per- 
kins. Present officers: Mrs. S. D. Houston, 
President ; Mrs. Johnson Lawrence, Vice-Presi- 
dent; Mrs. Russell Nichols, Secretary. 

Wednesday Club, Polo. — Organized in 1890; 
object, "To become more conversant with noted 
places of interest in different countries." First 
officers: Miss Clara Shumway, President; Miss 
Minnie Waterbury, Secretary and Treasurer. 
Present officers: Mrs. Davis McCoy, President; 
Mrs. C. A. Dingley, Vice-President; Mrs. John 
Strock, Secretary and Treasurer. 

The Twentieth Century Club, Polo, whose 
object is the study of history, originated with the 
Lutheran Chautauqua of 1804, as a Chautauqua 
Circle, including both men and women. The first 
leader was Mr. Henry Schell. The present offi- 
cers are : Mrs. Oliver Stroch. President ; Miss 
Loulou Thomas, Vice-President; Mrs. Frank 
Hammer, Secretary and Treasurer. The club is 
composed of fifteen active and five honorary 

The Would-be Tourist Club, Polo, organized 
September 16, 1907. with twenty members; ob- 
ject, educational. Present officers : Mrs. Lizzie 
M. Spaulding, President ; Mrs. Pearle Read, Vice- 
President ; Mrs. Frances Beard, Secretary and 

The Utopian Circle, of Polo, was organized 
April 11, 1900, at the home of Mrs. Albert Miller, 
and is a country club. The first officers were: 
President, Mrs. John Jones; Vice-President, 
Mrs. Johnson Lawrence ; Secretary, Mrs. Wil- 
liam Poole ; Treasurer, Mrs. J. W. Sanborn ; Or- 
ganist, Mrs. Benj. Duffy. Its object is to pro- 
mote the social and intellectual interests of its 
members. Present officers: President, Mrs. W. 
H. Hoover; Vice-President, Mrs. J. W. Scott; 


Secretary, Mrs. B. W. Grood ; Assistant Secretary, 
Mrs. S. P. Good; Treasurer, Miss Clara Gibbs; 
Organist, Mrs. Benj. Duffy. 

Chautauqua Literary Society, Rochelle. — 
The Chautauqua Literary Society was organized 
November 4, 1?90, with Rev. J. B. Fleming, Pres- 
ident. Officers, 1908: President, Mrs. T. G. 
Southworth ; Vice-President, Mrs. Ed. Lazier, 
Sr. ; Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. J. W. South- 

Rochelle Woman's Club. — This club was or- 
ganized October 26, 1897. It has a Shaliespearean, 
a Philanthropic and a Civic Department. The 
object of the association is "the improvement of 
its members, and the practical consideration of 
the important questions that flow out of the 
relations of the individual to society." It is In- 
dependent of sect and partj-, the "basis of mem- 
bership being earnestness of purpose, love of 
truth and a desire to promote the best interests 
of humanity." First officers: Mrs. Edith B. 
Otjen, President; Mrs. Ida C. Craft, First Vice- 
President; Mrs. M. J. Braiden, Second Vice- 
President; Mrs. Sarah M. Loomis, Recording 
Secretary; Miss Dilla H. Tibbies, Corre.sponding 
Secretary; Mrs. Alice Atwater, Ti-easurer. Di- 
rectors — Mrs. Lucy E. Furlong, Mrs. Blanche 
Gardner, Mrs. Anna M. Culver, Mrs. Willmina 
Golditz, Mrs. Elvese V. Freeman. 

In 1900 the club contributed magazines and 
clothing to the soldiers in the Philippines. The 
sum of $20 was sent through the "Tribune" Relief 
Fund to the San Francisco sufferere during the 
earthquake. This club belongs to the District 
and the State Federations ; at one time, also, 
belonged to the General Federation. 

Officers 1908: President, Mrs. E. L. Vaile 
First Vice-President, Mrs. A. M. Peek; Second 
Vice-President, Miss Mary S. Hunter; Record- 
ing Secretary, Mrs. J. W. Gilmore ; Correspond 
ing Secretary, Miss Josephine Hoadley ; Treas 
urer. Miss Delia Lynn. Directors — Mrs. Eman 
uel Hilb, Mrs. Ed. Lazier, Mrs. Elmer C. File, 
Mrs. Garrett P. Cooper, Miss Dilla Tibbies. 

Nineteenth Century Club. Rochelle. — The 
Nineteenth Century Club of Rochelle was organ- 
ized in February. 1897, and the members have 
devoted their time to the study of history, art 
and literature. First officers: President. Mrs. 
Georgia E. Bennett; Vice-President. Mrs. D. W. 
Baxter ; Secretary, Miss Addle Lewis ; Treasurer, 

Mrs. W. Carleton. Officers 1908 : President. Miss 
Nellie Bird ; Vice-President, Mrs. W. P. Graham ; 
Secretary. Miss Mary Hunter; Treasurer. Mrs. 
W. P. Landon. 

Chautauqua Society of the Hall-in-the- 
Grove.— This Society of the Hall-in-the-Grove, 
was organized at the Hotel Delos, May 8, 1 
by Mrs. Emanuel Hilb. First officers : President, 
Mr. C. F. Philbrook; Vice-President, Mrs. Deb 
orah A. Bain; Secretary, Mrs. A. B. Sheadle; 
Treasurer, Mrs. Emanuel Hilb. Its object is 
"to unite all C. L. S. S. graduates in a perma- 
nent organization, which shall take a general 
oversight of all of the Chautauqua work in the 
community, encouraging graduates to continue 
habits of systematic study, aiding in the estab- 
lishment of new circles, and whenever practical, 
extending its influence into outlining commit- 
tees." It has always been customarj' to hold 
an annual reception. Present officers : Presi- 
dent, Mrs. Clara Braiden ; Vice-President, Mrs. 
W. P. Landon; Secretary, Mrs. E. L. Cole; 
Treasurer, Mrs. A. Hilb. 

The Hickory Geove Society Children of 
American Revolution. — The Hickory Grove So- 
ciety Children of the American Revolution was 
organized at Rochelle, 111., April 18, 1906, with 
Mrs. Geo. E. Stocking as President. 

The object of this society is the acquisition 
of knowledge of American historj' ; to help pre- 
serve the places made sacred by the men and 
women who forwarded American independence ; 
to ascertain the deeds and honor the memories 
of children and youth who rendered service dur- 
ing the American Revolution ; to promote the 
celebration of all patriotic anniversaries ; to hold 
our American Flag sacred above every other flag 
on earth, and to love, uphold, and extend the 
institutions of American liberty and patriotism, 
and the principles that made and saved our 
country. Officers 1908: President, Mrs. James 
C. Fesler ; Secretarj', Harvey Phelps ; Treasurer, 
Jliss Jennie Lazier. 

The Wednesday Study Club. Stillman Val- 
ley. — Organized November 1, 1899, with a mem- 
bership of twelve. This club meets once in two 
weeks, and is now studying the "Bay View 
Course." It joined the State Federation five 
years ago. The officers for 1907 were: Presi- 
dent. Mrs. H. C. Brown ; Corresponding Secre- 
tary, >rrs. Mary Lee Tiiimbull. Present offi- 



cers: President, Mrs. Charles R. Stroh ; Vice- 
President. Miss H.\vn ; Secretary and Treas- 
urer, Mrs. Annie E. Gould. 

The Commercial Association of Oregon, III., 
was organized May 25, 1906, having as its object, 
"to secure the active aid and co-operation of all 
classes of citizens (bankers, contractors, mer- 
chants, manufacturers, mechanics, property ovm- 
ers, laborers, employes, professional men, and 
agents) in advancing, jn-omoting and fostering 
Oregon's material interests ; to bring all classes 
of citizens together on a common plane of asoo- 
ciation, with a view to developing a profitable 
exchange of ideas, and ... to use all reasona- 
ble means and agencies ... to promote com- 
mercial prosperity of the city." The officers : Clar- 
ence S. Haas. President ; E. F. Davis. Vice-Presi- 
dent; A. P. Herbert, Secretary; and P. E. Hast- 
ings. Treasurer. The general direction of its 
business is vested in a Board of Directors of 
nine members, of which Mayor Henry A. Smith 
is chairman. In 1906 a number of the members, 
having organized what is known as "The Land 
Syndicate," purchased a farm adjoining the City 
of Oregon, a portion of which was platted as 
the Commercial Addition, and a large number of 
the lots sold at public sale, the remainder now 
being improved, the object being to create a 
substantial fund to be used for the benefit of the 
Commercial Association in carrying out its work. 
It was through this body and this enterprise that 
the Commercial Association located the manufac- 
turing plant of E. D. Etnyre & Co. on its present 

Temperance Organizations. — During the ear- 
ly 'TOs a strong interest in matters of temper- 
ance was felt throughout the entire country. It 
was about this time that the lodges of Good 
Templars, which included men and women as 
members, were formed, both in the East and 
the West. Organizations of the Woman's Chris- 
tian Temperance Union were also becoming num- 
erous at about this period. 

As the time drew near for the election in the 
siiring of 1908, at which the new Township Local 
Option Law was to be voted on in many town- 
ships in Ogle County, many leading men in the 
different cities and villages of the county organ- 
ized into civic leagues, the better to bring about 
a majority temperance vote. Women also formed 
themselves into temperance leagues to assist the 
men, holding public meetings, prayer meetings at 

their homes, and providing hot coffee and other 
refreshments on the day of election at some place 
near the polls. lu Oregon, the women's league 
was led by Miss Florence Bissell, Mrs. Julia W. 
Peek, Mrs. Laura C. March, Mrs. F. R. Artz, 
the men's by Mr. C. M. Babbitt, Mr. Frank W. 
March. Mr. H. C. Peek, Dr. R. A. Harlan. In 
Rochelle this work was done by the Rochelle 
Woman's Club. Polo and Mount Morris were 
not particularly concerned in this election, as 
Polo has been a temperance town for a long time, 
and Mount Morris has always, with but a briei' 

Another means of awakening interest in tem- 
perance, especially among the boys and gi^ls, 
was the plan of awarding medals for proficiency 
in oratory, the selections rendered to be on the 
subject of the prohibition of the liquor ti-affic, as 
devised by Mr. W. Jennings Demorest, of New 
York, iu 1886. The Woman's Christian Temper- 
ance I'niou soon recognized the educational 
value of these contests, and in December, 1897, 
two years after the death of Mr. Demorest, aud 
who had himself, in connection with Mrs. Demor- 
est, given away 34,000 medals at a cost of $75.- 
000, the AV. C. T. U. took up the work and has 
carried it on ever since. Contests for boys, 
for girls, and for matrons, are now held. The 
prizes are cumulative, and a contestant must 
win the first in the progression before compet- 
ing for the next, and so on to the highest. The 
medals bestowed are the silver, the gold, the 
grand-gold, the diamond. A large number of 
these contests have been held in Ogle County 
under the directiou and management of the 
local W. C. T. U. organizations in the churches 
of the towns ; sometimes in churches and school- 
houses of the country districts, including Ore- 
gon, Lighthouse, Ghana, United Brethren 
church in Pine Creek Township, Davis Junction, 
Stillman Valley, Polo, Crestou, Forreston, Chris- 
tian Church in Lafayette To^mship, Haldane. 
Miss Winnie Heller, of Oregon (now Mrs. Frank 
Hills, of Rockford), in 1892, won a silver medal; 
Grover R. Stroh, of Oregon, in 1903, won a sil- 
ver, also: Mrs. Kate E. Little. Mrs. Charles 
Walkup. Mrs. Albertus Tiee, Mrs. Lillian Stat- 
ion were contestants iu 1906 at Oregon, Davis 
Junction and the U. B. Church, each winning 
a silver medal. In 1905, Miss Nelia B. Sears, 
of Oregon, won the gold medal at Forreston. 
Miss Edith Walkup (now Mrs. Harvey J. Kable, 
of Mount Morris), possesses the grand-gold 



medal, and a Polo lad, Lloyd Wasser, in 1907, 
at the Dixon Chautauqua Assembly, won the 

The W. C. T. U. Superintendents for Ogle 
County are: L. T. L. Branch, Mrs. V. P. Man- 
ning, Creston ; Anti-Narcotics, Mrs. Emma L, 
Burroughs, Oregon; Evangelistic, Sunday School 
Work, Mrs. N. C. Robertson, Forreston ; Flower 
Mission, Miss Elsie Knowlton, Byron : Franchise. 
Legislative Work, Mrs. Frances C. File, Davis 
Junction ; Medal Contest, Mrs. M. C. Hedrick, 
Polo ; Press, Literature, Mrs. Emma Heller, Ore- 
gon ; Railroad Employes, Miss M. Waterbury, 
Polo ; Scientific Temperance Instruction. Mrs. 
Sarah Pittman. Leaf River ; Soldiers and Sailors, 
Mrs. J. D. Buzzwell, Polo. At the present time 
the W. C. T. V. organizations in Ogle County 
engaged in active work are those at Polo, Ore- 
gon, Davis Junction, Byron, Forreston. Creston 
and Leaf River, Polo having the largest mem- 
bership, and Oregon the next. 

The W. C. T. U., of Oregon. — This union was 
organized September 8, 190G, some of the mem- 
bers of the former organization bec-omlng mem- 
bers of the new one. There were eight charter 
members, with the following officers : Emma L. 
Burroughs. President ; Laura C. March, Vice- 
President and Treasurer ; Winnie Hills, Secre- 
tary. The membership has steadily increased, at 
present amounting to 24. The officers for 1908 
are : Emma L. Burroughs, President ; Daisy 
Harshman, Vice-President ; Sarah Servis. Sec- 
retary : Laura C. March, Treasurer. 

The W. C. T. U., Polo. — The Polo Woman's 
Christian Temperance Union was organized in 
April, 1878, under the name of The White Rib- 
bon Club. The first officers were: ilrs. J. H. 
More, President ; Miss Capitola Cooper, Secre- 
tary; Miss Kittle McNeil, Treasurer. In Sep- 
tember of the same year Mrs. Calvin Waterbury 
was made President ; Miss Julia E. Read, Sec- 
retary ; and Jliss Minnie Hammer, Treasurer. 
In November the club reorganized under the 
name of the Woman's Protective Union. Its 
officers were Mrs. E. A. Herrick, President; 
Mrs. C. Waterbury, Vice-President ; Mrs. C. D. 
Reed. Secretary and Treasurer. In 1882 the 
name was changed to the Woman's Christian 
Temperance Union and has continued until the 
present time an active, efficient societj'. Mrs. 
Herrick was President for fifteen years. Its 
present officers are : Mrs. M. C. Talbott, Presi- 

dent ; Mrs. R. G. Shumway, First Vice-President; 
Mrs. Laura Buswell, Recording Secretary; Mrs. 
Flora Antrim, Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. E. 
-V. Herrick, Treasurer. Mrs. Shumway, who 
was a very excellent helper, has since passed 

Youth's Tempebance Alliance or Polo. — At 
a meeting held in the Lutheran Church on Sun- 
day. December 1. 1878, a society was formed to 
be knowTi as "The Youth's Temperance Alliance 
of Polo, Illinois." The officers were to be chosen 
quarterly, and regular public meetings to be held 
the third Sunday of each month. Each member 
signed a pledge promising never to use intoxi- 
cating drinks, and to do all in his power to in- 
duce others to sign and keep this pledge. The 
following officers were chosen: Superintendent, 
Rev. O. F. Mattison; Deputy Superintendent, J. 
II. Freeman ; Secretary and Treasurer, Emma R. 
Pearson; Musical Director, W. T. Schell ; Or- 
ganist, Willie Wagner; Executive Committee — 
Rev. J. S. Detweiler. Arthur Pearson, Mrs. B. 

Jlr. ilattisou not accepting the office of Su- 
Ijerintendeut, J. H. Freeman was made Superin- 
tendent and C. W. Sammis was chosen Deputy 
Superintendent. The present officers are: Mr. 
Oscar Schell, President; Miss Emma R. Pearson. 
Secretary and Treasurer. 

Music in Ogle County. — Forty years ago. 
Singing Schools and Musical Conventions (four 
days' meeting) were popular and were both 
helpful and enjoyable to the singers of Ogle 
County. The first convention was held in Cres- 
ton in the winter of 1868, under the leadership 
of Dr. H. R. Palmer, and W. S. B. Matthews 
(pianist), both of Chicago. The second one was 
held in 1870, in Rochelle, by Dr. L. O. Emerson, 
of Boston. The first one at the county seat was 
in December, 1871. presided over by P. P. Bliss, 
of Chicago, who also held one in Mount Morris in 
187-1. Dr. H. R. Palmer also held them in Ore- 
gon and Byron, and L. O. Emerson had charge of 
one in Stillman Valley. These were followed 
in July, 1880, by a four weeks' Institute in Ore- 
gon, students attending from Iowa, Indiana, 
Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas, 
and from several counties in Illinois. The teach- 
ing corps was composed of S. W. Straub and T. 
Martin Towne. of Chicago, with assistants, W. 
F. WerschUul. Wni. Beary and Arthur M. Straub. 



Besides vocal, piano, and harmony classes, many 
of the students toolc private lessons. Several 
concerts were given, and noted musicians from 
Chicago tooli part on the programs, which were 
greatly enjoyed by the citizens of Oregon. A 
few years later, through the efforts of the late 
W. A. Washburn, of the School Board, music 
was inti-oduced into the Oregon public schools, 
and J. H. Ketchum was the first Supervisor of 
Music in. the Oregon, Polo, Rochelle and Mount 
Morris schools. He has been succeeded by Pro- 
fessors George Krinbill, C. F. Dunham and F. B. 
Chaffee, the present Supervisor. 

Ogle County Woman's Exposition Club. — 
The Ogle County Woman's Exposition Club was 
organized in Oregon, 111., April 25, 1892, by Mrs. 
Alice Bradford Wiles, of Chicago, with a mem- 
bership of thirty, and held meetings once a 
month. Its object was to secure full representa- 
tion of the industries and interests of the women 
of Ogle County at the Columbian Exposition held 
in Chicago in 1893. The officers were : President, 
Mrs. M. A. Lason ; Recording Secretary, Mrs. 
J. C. Seyster ; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. A. 
H. Wagoner; Treasurer. Mrs. J. C. Fesler. The 
following list of Vice-Pi-esidents was also ap- 
pointed to assist in the work: Oregon, Mrs. 
Anne Spoor; Rochelle, Mrs. Frank Barker; 
Polo, Mrs. James Allaben ; Mount Morris, Mrs. 
Chas. Newcomer ; Byron, Mrs. Frank Spaulding ; 
Stillman Valley, Mrs. John Atwood; Forreston, 
Mrs. Dr. Winston; Grand Detour, Miss lone 
Harrington ; Davis Junction, Mrs. Eugene Moore ; 
Ghana, Miss Minnie Burright; Monroe Center, 
Mrs. Chas. Bennett; Crestou, Mrs. Upton Swing- 

At the various meetings articles were read and 
discussed pertaining to the life and discoveries 
of Christopher Columbus, Illinois history and wo- 
man's work at the Exposition. A supper and 
social was held on Mrs. J. C. Seyster's lawn, the 
proceeds to go towards a view fund, which was 
a photographic exhibit of Rock River scenery 
in the county to be placed in the Woman's Build- 
ing of the Exposition. The stipulation required 
that the work should be exclusively that of wo- 
men. During the month of December an art 
union was held in Memorial Hall which lasted a 
week, an exhibit of pictures, curios and fancy 
work being displayed. More than twenty-five 
paintings, the work of professional men, who 
earned their bread by their brush, decorated the 

walls, and three times as many the work of loca' 
artists. A musical program and recitals, both 
by home and out of town talent, were rendered 
each evening during the week of the exhibit. Dr 
H. A. Mix managed Mrs. Jarley's wax-works and 
magic mirror and statuary, much to the delight 
of all. The proceeds of the entertainments went 
toward purchasing a revolving show-case to dis- 
play views. One could not but be impressed with 
the beautiful views, one hundred in number, 
each representing some delightful spot in Ogle 
County, and being a credit to the artist, Mrs. 
O. H. Wheat, of Rockford, 111. At the close of 
the Exposition the case was returned to the club 
members and placed in temporary quarters in 
Memorial Hall, with the understanding that the 
Oregon Public Library should be its permanent 
home when built. 

Ogle County Humane Society. — ^The Ogle 
County Humane Society, a branch of the Illinois 
Humane Society located in Chicago, was organ- 
ized in Memorial Hall, Oregon, 111., July 13, 1899. 
by Mrs. James C. Fesler, now of Rochelle, 111. 
The object of the society is "to enforce all laws 
which are now, or may be hereafter, enacted for 
the prevention of cruelty, especially to children 
and animals, and to secure by lawful meaus, the 
arrest, conviction and punishment of any i/crson 
or persons violating such laws ; also to piximote 
a humane public sentiment." 

Officers: President, Prof. W. J. Sutherluiei ; 
Vice-President, Mrs. James C. Fesler; Secretary 
Mrs. Joseph Artz ; Treasurer, Dr. J. B. Da^'ts : 
Superintendent, Chas. W. Sammis ; Agent, Benj. 
F. Chauey. Directors — Mayor Chas. Schneider. 
Attorney Jos. Sears, Attorney Horace G. Kauff 
man. Dr. B. E. Fahrney, Mrs. Anne Spoor, Mrs 
F. G. .Tones, Mrs. J. C. Fesler. 

Many cases of cruelty and neglect, both to 
children and animals, have been investigated and 
conditions remedied. In 1901, the society pur- 
chased a "humane drinking fountain" which was 
placed on the corner of the Court House Square. 
In 1902, the ladies organized a school of domes- 
tic science which was carried on in c-onnection 
with the Oregon Public School. 

Oregon Bachelors' Club: The Owls.— This 
organization long ago reached its majority, hav 
ing on August 14, 1908. celebrated its twenty- 
ninth annual picnic, this festive occasion being 
the yearly flowering time of the historic society. 
"The Owls" is the pseudonym of wisdom by 




which the club is commonly designated now-a- 
days, and the procession of its members in the 
morning sunlight (for it is said to be a fact 
that it has never rained on the just heads of 
these bachelors), gay with yellow sunflowers and 
the sheltering umbrella of the same golden hue, 
from under which the doughty holder may not 
glance at the fair onlookers along the way to 
"Island No. 1," is one of the much-heralded 
events of midsummer in the region about Ore- 
gon. Loud sounds of hooting awake the rever- 
berations along the Rock River Valley some 
weeks before the great event, and many whis- 
perings of fried chicken, and other appetizing 
viands for the day's feast, are faintly heard. 

As nearly as can be ascertained the charter 
members of this club were the following: J. H. 
CartwTight, George P. Jacobs, J. W. Bardwell. 
F. R. Artz, J. D. C. Artz, George F. Snyder, 
J. W. Etuyre, L, C. Hormell, J. S. Sanders, C. 
W. A. Reynolds, John Rutledge, James N. Davis, 
C. H. Hormell, Benj. Swai'tz, S. Munn, A. h. Et- 
tinger, E. Brown, S. D. Wallace — eighteen in all. 
It is interesting to note the prevalence of the 
tell-tale "M" after so large a number of the 
signers of the constitution, fi-om the charter 
members down to those of the present time. The 
Constitution of the club was prepared by J. H. 
Cartwright, George P. Jacobs, F. R. Artz, John 
Rutledge, James N. Davis. John Rutledge being 
the scribe. From the Record-Book, Vol. II, of 
the club, the following parts of the transcribed 
document are copied: 


"Whereas, It has become necessary to resist 
the encroachments of a common enemy by band- 
ing ourselves together for mutual protection and 
defense agiiinst the wiles of the fair sex and the 
blandishments of anxious mammas ; and Whereas, 
The fair sex have repeatedly, and against our 
earnest protestations and entreaties, endeavored 
to draw us from the path of rectitude by picnics 
and croquet, which action demands from every 
lover of freedom prompt and energetic measures : 

"Therefore. Resolred. That we associate our- 
selves together for the promotion of the objects 
aforesaid under the following Constitution: 

Article I. 

"Sec. 1. This association shall be styled the 
Oregon Bachelors' Club. 

"Sec. 2. This Club shall consist of the present 

members of the same and such other single gen- 
tlemen as shall be admitted at any regular meet- 
ing of the Club by a majority vote ot the mem- 
bers thereof. 

"See. 3. The officers of this club shall consist 
of a Senior Grand Tycoon, Junior Grand Ty- 
coon, a Grand Knight of the Quill, a Grand 
Keeper of the Stamps, Three Deacons and Grand 
Custodian of the Hatchet 

Article IX. 

"Sec. 1. The members of this Club are strictly 
forbidden from entering into any matrimonial al- 
liances, except the permission of the Grand 
Deacons being first had and obtained therefor 
and permission shall not be granted except upon 
the withdrawal of the member from the Club and 
the payment of such sum as will provide re- 
fi-eshments for the Club at their next meeting." 

The Annual Meeting — such is the irony of 
fate — is set to occur at the island in Rock River, 
since that time named for a woman, and one 
who was unmarried at the time of her visit to it! 
At first an annual ball was given to which ladies 
were invited, but after a time even this conces- 
sion was dropped. The pioneer Bachelors carried 
a black sunshade, but this proved too somber for 
a merry spirit. 

The membership of this club increased as the 
years wore away, and its list has included a 
large number of members, not only from Oregon, 
but from all over Ogle County, and even over 
the United States, there being no boundary limit 
as to that. In 190.5. "on the first Friday after 
the second Monday in August, at 10 o'clock A. M.. 
at which meeting the officers of the Club are 
elected," the "Ex-Owls" were invited by the 
"Owls" to join in the "Owl Picnic." About 150 
partook that day of the feast at Margaret Ful- 
ler Island, and it is recorded that the "outs" and 
the "ins" were in about equal numbers. At the 
Annual Picnic at the present day a ehromo is 
awarded to that member who, it has been as- 
certained in some occult manner, is the nearest 
to leaving the state of single-blessedness. The 
growth in size of the organization has. of course, 
in a measure nullified the provision in the Fourth 
Article for the use of the fine of the daring 

For 1908 the officers were : A. E. Hawm, W. T. 
Ray. F. E. Maynard. Oscar Rutledge, Claude L. 
Reber, F. A. Newcomer, C. S. Jones, Phil O'Con- 
nell, H. L. Moyer. On the committees were: E. D. 



Landers, Gleun Andrew, H. R. Sears, E. W. 
Jones, W. L. Etuyre, H. R. Remsberg, John C. 
Reed, F. W. Posselts, Cliarles Grow, Clarence 
Ray, Charles Eshbaugh, Fred Knodle, John 
Kaiser, Fred Souutag, D. S. Lippert, C. G. Gil- 
bert, E. R. Fry, Carl Reynolds, C. M. McKenney, 
J. W. Charters, J. A. Waite. 

Note. — It is not certain as to the origin of the 
later name of this bachelor organization, but it 
probably came fix)m the design of an owl being 
used as a heading on one of the first annual pro- 
grams. Those attending to the printing, desir- 
ing a decoration, Samuel Wilsou suggested the 
owl, a cut of which he had in his newspaper 
stock of the "Oregon Guard." 

The Ogle Counts Chautauqua. — With the 
view of combining wholesome entertainment with 
improvement, enjoyment with interesting instruc- 
tion, there was organized at Oregon, in February, 
1908, the Ogle County Chautauqua, the first or- 
ganization of the kind in the county. The ses- 
sion was held during the ten days from July 3 
to 12, inclusive, on the Fair Grounds in a tent 
with a seating capacity of one thousand people. 
The c-ost of the talent, which included sermons, 
lectures, impersonations, music, etc., was $1,800. 
Among those who appeared were Rev. William A. 
Sunday, Col. George W. Bain, Lorado Taft, Fath- 
er P. J. MacCorry. Dr. GabrielR. Maguire, Ross 
Crane, Chicago Ladies' Lyceum Quartette, Senor 
Lala, Ralph Parlette. 

The program proved an excellent one. The 
audiences were entertained and edified. There 
was enjoyment and there were also educational 
and elevating influences that were of much value 
to the community, which as a whole was "broad- 
ened, brightened, bettered." The chief benefit 
arose from bringing good music, high class en- 
tertainment and uplifting talks to the people 
generally in the midst of surroundings that were 
conducive to social pleasures and healthful recre- 

The attendance in the main was good, though 
several rains and thunder-storms caused a ma- 
terial lessening of the receipts, there being a de- 
ficit of $1-13 from a total exi^enditure of nearly 
$2,200. This was made good by a number of the 
citizens who had signed as guarantors. 

The oflicers were Horace G. Kauffmau, Presi- 
dent ; Z. A. Landers, Secretary : Charles M. Gale, 
Treasurer. The chairman of the c-onunittee on 
program was Joseph L. Rice ; on advertising. 

Rev. J. H. Rheingans ; on grounds and conces- 
sions, Rev. J. W. Funstou ; on tents, Jerome F. 


The Old Settlers' Association, which holds a 
meeting each year, usually in August, at some 
one of the towns of the county, began its exist- 
ence nearly forty years ago. It met for the 
first time on February 10, 1869, at the house of 
Hiram Read, in Rockvale Township, where its 
organization was effected by the election of John 
Phelps as President, James V. Gale as Secretary, 
and William J. Mix as Treasurer, after a con- 
stitution had been submitted and adopted. The 
first annual meeting was held May 27, 1869, at 
Oregon in the Court House. It was then known 
as the Old Settlers' Society. The first executive 
committee consisted of William P. Flagg, Hiram 
Read, Alliert Brown, Virgil A. Bogue and Isaac 
Trask. A talk was given by William Artz of 
Oregon, and it was voted by those present that 
all who came into the county prior to 1842 be 
invited to sign the constitution. The following 
signed : 
Members Arrival Place of Birth Age 

John Phelps 1S34. Bedford Co., Va...72 

James V. Gale 1835, Concord, N. H 62 

A. O. Campbell 1836, Bradford Co., Pa.. 

Hiram Read 1835, Cornish, N. H 

William Carpenter.. .1835, Massachusetts 

John Russell 1834, Ohio 77 

J. W. Jenkins 18.35, Ohio 

Lewis Williams 1835, Ohio 

Augustus Austin 1839, Canada 

Phineas Chaney 1836, Virginia 54 

A. I. Allen 18-38, Lancaster Co., Pa.. 54 

F. A. Smith 1837, Massachusetts 52 

Clinton Helm 1837, New York 40 

F. G. Petrie 1838, Canada 50 

,\ndrew Schecter. . . .1841, Maryland 49 

Robert Davis 1836, Virginia 58 

William Artz 18.39, Maryland 58 

Wm. J. Fletcher 1837, Maryland 48 

B. T. Phelps .1834, Bedford Co., Va...59 

G. W. Phelps 1834, Wilson Co., Tenn..57 

S. T. Betebenner 1841. Maryl.ind 53 

Joshua Thomas 1840, Mar.vland 58 

Benjamin Boyce 1837, \ew York 72 

Jacob Dietrich 1838, Maryland 77 

John V. Gale 1836, Concord, N. H....55 

Tohn James 1841, Connecticut 64 

John Sharp born 1838, Ogle Co., Ill .31 



There was another meeting in 1S69. on Octo- 
ber 12th, and again at Oregon, but at the Fair 
Grounds instead of in the Court House. For a 
time there was not sufficient interest to lieep up 
the annual reunion, wliieh is surprising, though 
it should be remembered that some of the pio- 
neers most active in the organization of the so- 
ciety had died, and that the years immediately 
following 1869 were not sufBciently removed 
from the period of settlement to form an his- 
toric background which would attract the people 
generally. In 18S2 there was re-organization at 
Oregon. A new constitution and by-laws, pre- 
pared by a committee consisting of George D. 
Read, John V. Gale, John W. Hitt, F. G. Petrie. 
and J. R. Smith, was adopted. The new officers 
were George D. Read, President ; Wm. J. Jlix, 
Secretary ; F. G. Peti-ie, Treasurer ; Hugh Ray, 
Corresponding Secretary, with a Vice-President 
for each township. 

The first meeting under the re-organization 
was held at Oregon, August 31, 1882 ; the second 
at Mount Morris, August 30, 1883, with Wm. 
J. Mix, President, and Col. B. F. Sheets as prin- 
cipal speak&r. The latter said, "These old set- 
tlers have left their impress upon all the sur- 
roundings. Under their h.ands these 
prairies have been transformed into gardens. 
They came into the wilderness and the wilder- 
ness and the solitary places were made glad. 
But, one by one the men and women who laid 
the foundations of the civilization we are to-day 
en.ioying are passing on to that country that lies 
beyond the bounds of time." A number of those 
present being called upon for short addresses, 
the following named early residents of the coun- 
ty responded : John V. Gale, Timothy Perkins, 
Wm. H. King, David HofChine, Daniel O'Kane, 
Elias Reed, Bradford McKinney, Dr. U. C. Roe, 
Simeon S. Garwell, C. D. Sawyer, D. Harry 
Hammer, F. G. Petrie. A report of the meeting 
says. "Invitations were extended to all old set- 
tlers to partake of a good dinner prepared by 
the ladies of Mount Morris and served in the 
dining room of the College, where tables were 
spread for one hundred and ten persons ; and 
were filled two or three times before the guests 
were all supplied. All about on the College 
Campus were gathered groups of friends, who 
with cloths spread on the green grass and capa- 
cious baskets filled with dainties, were partak- 
ing of a picnic dinner. Probably not less than 

two thousand were thus enjoying themselves at 
one time." 

The third meeting was held at Rochelle on 
August 28, 1884, at Bain's Opera House, when 
David B. Stiles was President and the chief ad- 
dress was made by Rev. J. B. Stoughton. The 
fourth reunion was at Polo, August 27, 1885, 
Elias Baker being President. The place of as- 
sembling was Buffalo Grove, where the ladies 
of Polo served coffee to all. Several thousand 
persons were present. Speeches were made by 
Rev. Barton Cartwright, Dr. Isaac Rice, Elias 
Baker, Robert R. Hitt, Pearson Shoemaker. Dr. 
John Roe. 

Since then the Association has held a reunion 
in August of each year at either Mount Morris, 
Oregon, Rochelle, Polo, Forreston, or Byron. 
The last two years have seen it at Mount Mor- 
ris, where it is again to be held next year, with 
Amos F. Moore as President and A. W. Bray- 
ton as Chairman of the committee on program. 
The principal addresses of the day have been 
made at one town and another by the following 
persons who have been a part of the life of the 
county in either its earlier or later years : Sen- 
ator Charles B. Farwell, Robert R. Hitt, Dr. 
J. L. More. Judge Edmund W. Burke, John V.' 
Farwell, Judge James H. Cartwright, Rev. Olin 
F. Mattison, Col. F. O. Lowden, F. M. Hicks, 
■\'ietor H. Bovey, John A. Atwood. Among those 
from outside the countj- who have been Invited 
to he the speaker of the day may be named Judge 
James Shaw of Mount Carroll, Charles Fuller 
of Belvldere, Major X. C. Warner of Rockford, 
Wm. A. Meese of Moline and E. D. ShurtlefE of 
Marengo. At two of the more recent meetings 
papers have been read by ladies as follows : 
"Pioneer Mothers," by Mrs. Julia W. Peek, and 
"Governor Thomas Ford in Ogle County," by 
Mrs. Rebecca H. Kauffman. As the result of the 
paper on Governor Ford, the Association is ar- 
ranging for the removal and preservation of the 
Ford caliin. 

For these many years the reunions have been 
characterized by reminiscences given by those 
who participated in the settlement of the county 
and experienced the hardships, pleasures and 
many vicissitudes of pioneer life, which per- 
sonal recollections being the central idea of the 
organization, have always been a feature of the 
meetings. Always a matter of interest, they have 
also been one of value, since 


"Tiie best of prophets of the Future is the Past." 
But this chai-aetei-istie of the reuuions is now 
become less marked than formerly. The pio- 
neers that contiuue to dwell in Ogle County are 
but a handful to those that slumber in its bosom. 
Sturdy men and women, though they were, fur 
them and their day also has it been true, 
"That Time flieth and never claps her wings." 









In 1843 Oregon was honored by the visit of a 
distinguished American woman — Margaret Ful- 
ler. This brilliant daughter of the East was 
then at the height of her literary eminence. She 
had translated Goethe's "Faust," edited "The 
Dial," the highly intellectual newspaper expo- 
nent of New England Transcendentalism, and 
for several years had given in Boston the cele- 
brated "conversations" which she delighted in, 
and which drew to her many cultivated and 
scholarly iieople, who, with her as their leader, 
discussed informally literature, philosophy and 
social and ec-onomic reforms. It was not until 
a year later that, upon the invitation of its 
editor, Horace Greeley, she became literary 
critic of the A'ew York Tribune, a position she 
filled with signal ability, and was the first wo- 
man in this country to be honored with such an 
important place. Six years more and her fine 
career tragically ended. 

Margaret Fuller was the contemporary of 
Emerson, Hawthorne, Channing, Alcott, Ripley, 
Longfellow, Lowell, Bayard Taylor and other 
well known authoi-s. divines and reformer.s who. 

from about 1S30 onward, so enriched American 
letters and so profoundly influenced the na- 
tional thought. Not only was she their con- 
temporary, but she personally knew them and 
included them in her list of personal friends — 
in the case of Lowell, at least, until in the 
columns of The Tribune she had reviewed some 
of his poems and criticised them adversely, even 
denying to him the poetic taculty, whereupon 
Lowell retaliated in his "Fable for Critics," 
in which Miranda, "the tiring woman to the 
Muses," is Margaret Fuller. 

The summer of 1843 Miss Fuller spent in 
travel, mainly on the lakes and in Illinois and 
Wisconsin, the only long journey she ever took 
in lier own country. She went by boat from 
Buffalo to Chicago. From there the ti-aveling 
party was made up, besides herself, of James 
Freeman Clarke and his sister Sarah, of the 
East, and a brother, William H. Clarke, of Chi- 
cago, under whose guidance the four proceeded. 
Her account of the journey in her first book, 
"Summer on the Lakes," was a timely volume. 
It gave information at first hand of what was 
then the "Far West," a region in which the peo- 
ple of the East were at that time — the end of 
the decade following the Black Hawk War — man- 
ifesting their greatest interest, but concerning 
which accurate information had been meager, 
and genuine appreciation even less. Margaret 
Fuller's pages had both, conveyed in lucid Eng- 
lish, often becoming elegant through an ample 
vocabulary, apt similes and historical allusions 
that were the fruit of wide reading and varied 

In certain of its aspects the volume reads as 
if, instead of having been written sixty-five years 
ago, it were the narrative of a much earlier date, 
because of the primitive life it depicts. The mode 
of travel from Chicago was by lumber wagon, 
"loaded," says the author, "with everything we 
might want, in case nobody would give it to us — 
for buying and selling were no longer to be 
counted on.'' The first evening found them at 
Geneva, where they remained Saturday and Sun- 
day, and where they heard, "with his attentive 
and affectionate congregation, the Unitarian 
clergyman," a form of church services common 
in New England, but which it surprises one to 
learn was found anywhere in Illinois at the 
time; then proceeding by Ross's Grove to Paw 
Paw Grove,_consuming several days, and spend- 
int: one afternoon and night at the house of an 



Englishman, where "the young ladies were mus- 
ical and spoke French fluently, having been edu- 
cated in a convent." At the latter grove they 
"put up" at the tavern. Their experience is re- 
counted thus : "That night we rested, or rather 
tarried, at Paw Paw Grove, and there partook 
of the miseries, so often jocosely portrayed, of 
bedchambers for twelve, a milk dish for univer- 
sal hand basin, and expectations that you would 
use and lend your 'hankercher' for a towel. But 
this was the only night, thanks to the hospital- 
its' of private families, that we passed thus. . . 
We ladies were to sleep in the bar-room, from 
which its drinking visitors could be ejected only 
at a late hour. . . . We had also rather hard 
couches (mine was the supper table) ; but we 
were altogether too much fatigued to stand upon 
trifles, and slept as sweetly as we would in the 
'bigly bower' of any baroness." • 

The narrative then continues as follows : "In 
the afternoon we reached the Rock River, in 
whose neighborhod we proposed to make some 
stay, and crossed at Dixon's Ferry. 

"The first place where we stopped was one of 
singular beauty, a beauty of soft, luxuriant 
wildness. It was on the bend of the river, a 
place chosen by an Irish gentleman, whose ab- 
senteeship seems of the wisest kind, since, for a 
sum which would have been but a drop of water 
to the thirsty fever of his native land, he com- 
mands a residence that has all that is desirable, 
in its independence, its beautiful retirement, and 
means of benefit to others." 

This was Hazelwood, better known as the 
"Governor Charters Place," situated several 
miles north of Dixon. In her iwem, "The West- 
ern Eden," indited while there. Margaret Ful- 
ler says, 
"Blest be the kindly genius of the scene ; 

The river, bending in unbroken grace. 
The stately thickets, with their pathways green. 

Fair, lonely trees, each in its fittest place." 

Hazelwood remained much as Margaret Fuller 
describes it for many years after. Latterly it 
came into the possession of the late Charles 
Hughes of Dixon, and now belongs to his estate. 

The party tarried here three days, and then 
moved on to Oregon, their principal objective 
point in Illinois, because there then lived in Ore- 
gon an uncle of Margaret Fuller. This was 
William W. Puller, a practicing attorney of the 
Ogle County Bar. After being graduated from 
Han-ard, and then having read law. he followed 

his profession in the East for a time, and upon 
the advice of Governor Ford, came west to Ore- 
gon. At the date of his niece's visit he was un- 
married; hence the fact of Miss Fuller staying 
at the house of his friends, the Henshaws. These 
were people from the north of Ireland, given 
to hospitalitj', fond of outdoor life and of gay 
times, who lived on the east bank of Rock River, 
north of Oregon and opposite the present Fair 
Grounds, where a clump of fine elms still marks 
the location of the "double log cabin" that to the 
eye of the distinguished guest was "the model 
of a Western villa." They built a "sod fence," 
after the manner of those common in the north 
of Ireland, consisting of an earth embankment 
with a ditch on the inner side, and which can 
still be traced along the east side of the high- 
way leading north from the location of their 
house, at and beyond the turn of the road from 
the river, as one enters the woods in driving to 
Mr. Wallace Heckman's summer home. The 
Henshaw family and "Governor" Charters were 
intimate friends and visited back and forth fre- 

"Leaving Hazelwood, we proceeded a day's 
journey along the beautiful stream, to a little 
town named Oregon." . . . 

"At Oregon, the beauty of the scene was of 
even a more sumptuous character than at our 
former 'stopping-place.' Here swelled the river 
in its boldest course, interspersed by halcyon 
isles on which Nature had lavished all her prod- 
igality in tree, vine, and flower, banked by noble 
bluffs, three hundred feet high, their sharp 
ridges as exquisitely definite as the edge of a 
shell ; their summits adorned with those same 
beautiful trees, and with buttresses of rich 
rock, crested with old hemlocks, which wore a 
touching and antique grace amid the softer and 
more luxuriant vegetation." . . . 

"The aspect of this counti-y was to me enchant- 
ing beyond any I have ever seen, from its full- 
ness of expression, its bold and impassioned 
sweetness. Here the flood of emotion has passed 
over and marked everywhere its course by a 
smile. The fragments of rock touch it with a 
wildness and liberality which give just the need- 
ed relief. I should never be tired here, though 
I have elsewhere seen country of more secret 
and alluring charms, better calculated to stim- 
ulate and suggest. Hei-e the eye and the heart 
are filled." 

"This beautiful stream flows full and wide 


over a bed of rocks, traversing a distance of 
near two luindred miles to reacli the Mississippi. 
Great! part of ttie counti-y along its banlis is the 
finest region of Illinois, and the scene of some 
of the latest romance of Indian warfare. To 
these beautiful regions Black Hawk returned 
with his band 'to pass the summer,' when he 
drew upon himself the warfare In which he was 
Anally vanquished. No wonder he could not 
resist the longing, unwise though its indulgence 
might be. to return in summer to this home of 

"Of Illinois, in general, it has often been re- 
marked, that it bears the character of country 
which has been inhabited by a nation skilled like 
the English in all the ornamental arts of life, 
especially in landscape-gardening. The villas 
and castles seem to have been burned, the enclo- 
sures taken down, but the velvet lawns, the flow- 
er gardens, stately parks, scattered at graceful 
intervals by the decorous hand of art, the fre- 
quent deer, and the peaceful herd of cattle that 
make the picture of the plain, all suggest more 
of the masterly mind of man, than the prodigal, 
but careless, motherly love of Nature. Especial- 
ly is this true of the IJock River counti-y. The 
river Hows through these parks and lawns, then 
betwi.\t high bluffs, whose grassy ridges are cov- 
ered with flue trees, or broken with crumbling 
stone, that easily assumes the forms of buttress, 
arch, and clustered columns. Along the face of 
such crumbling rocks, swallows' nests are clus- 
tered thick as cities, and eagles and deer do not 
disdain their summits. One morning, out in the 
Iwat along the basei of these rocks, it was amus- 
ing, and affecting too, to see these swallovi^ put 
their heads out to look at us. There was some- 
thing very hospitable about it. as if man had 
never shown himself a tyrant near there. What 
a morning that was! Every sight is worth 
twice as much by the early morning light. We 
borrow something of the spirit of the hour to 
look upon them. 

"Two of the Iwldest bluffs are called the 
Deer's Walk (not because deer do not walk 
there) and the Eagle's Nest. The latter I visit- 
ed one glorious morning ; it was that of the fourth 
of July, and certainly I think I had never felt so 
happy that I was born in America. Woe to all 
country folks that never saw this spot, never 
swept an enraptured gaze over the prospect 
that stretched beneath. I do believe Rome and 

Florence are suburbs compared to this capital 
of Nature's art." 

Margaret Fuller's poem, "Ganymede to His 
Eagle," was "eompo.sed on the height called the 
Eagle's Nest," and, it is said, under the old 
gnarled (and now dead) cedar still to be seen 
there. In Grecian mythology Ganymede suc- 
ceeded Hebe as cup-bearer to Zeus, and by him 
was at times directed to minister to his eagle, 
whose strength and power of flight Zeus employ- 
ed to carry off the beautiful boy from earth to 
heaven. The Greeks placed Ganymede among 
the stars as Aquarius, or "water-bearer." The 
following lines are taken from the poem : 

"A hundred times, at least, from the clear spring, 
Since the full moon o'er hill and valley glowed, 

I've filled the vase which our Olympian king 
Upon my care for thy sole use bestowed; 

That, at the moment when thou shouldst descend, 

.-V pure refreshment might thy attend." 

Miss Fuller's friends "had prepared a little 
fleet to pass over to the Fourth of July celebra- 
tion, which some queer drumming and fifing 
from the opposite bank had announced to be 'on 
hand.' " 

"We found the free and independent citizens 
there collected beneath the trees, among whom 
many a round Irish visage dimpled at the usual 
puffs of 'Ameriky.' " 

"The orator was a New-Englander, and the 
speech smacked loudly of Boston, but was receiv- 
ed with nuich applause and followed by a plenti- 
ful dinner, provided by and for the Sovereign 
People, to which Hail Columbia served as grace. 

"Returning, the gay flotilla cheered the little 
flag which the children had raised from a log- 
cabin, prettier than any President ever saw, and 
(Irnuk the health of our country and all man- 
kind, with a clear conscience." 

Mrs. Amanda Woolley Peck, daughter of Isaac 
S. Woolley, respected pioneer settler of Oregon 
Township, is, perhaps, the only person still resid- 
ing in Oregon who saw and remembers Miss Ful- 
ler. As a little girl, she was present at the 
Fourth of July celebration and picnic of 184.3, 
which, she says, was held on the river bank, near 
the ferry, aliout where the bridge now crosses, 
and she saw Miss Fuller with her friends "come 
down the river in skiffs." They remained for the 
picnic dinner. 

The week's stay at Oregon and in the Henshaw 
home was one of enjoyment to Miss Fuller in 



every way. Concerning the latter she exchiims : 
"In this charming abode what laughter, what 
sweet thoughts, what pleasing fancies, did we not 
enjoy ! Jlay such never desert those who reared 
it, and made us so kindly welcome to all its 
pleasures !" 

But the time for her departure arrived, and 
she says : "The 6th of July we left this beautiful 
place. It was one of those rich days of bright 
sunlight, varied by the purple shadows of large, 
sweeping clouds. Many a backward look we east, 
and left the heart behind." 

"F.irewell. ye .soft and sumptuous solitudes! 

Ye fairy distances, ye lordly woods, 
I go, — and if I never more may steep 

An eager heart in your enchantments deep, 
Yet ever to itself that heart may say. 

Be not exacting ; thou hast lived one day." 

Returning to her eastern home, Miss Fuller 
spent several months in preparing for the press 
the narrative of her journey, "Summer on the 
Lakes," before mentioned, spending many hours 
of study in the Harvard College Librar.v. "The 
book," says her latest biographer, "yielded noth- 
ing to the author save copies to give away." 
.Nevertheless it has lived longer than most books 
of travel, and is rend with interest today, be- 
cause instead of being merely statistical, its 
pages abound in observations and reflections that 
"picture the new scenes for the mind's eye." 

In December. 1S44, Miss Fuller became the lit- 
erary critic of the New York Tribune and a mem- 
ber of Mr. Greeley's household. She contributed 
besides book reviews, numerous original articles, 
and the variety and depth of her knowledge, the 
range of her .sympathies, and her keen, penetra- 
ting and profound comments upon life have not 
been surpassed in similar work since her day, not 
forgetting the excellence of the work done by her 
successor. George Ripley. 

A year and a half later she went with friends 
to travel in Europe, the while writing letters to 
the Tribune. The first twelve months were spent 
in England, Scotland, and France, with a short 
stay in Rome. Slie met Thomas Carlyle. Eliza- 
beth Barrett. Robert Browning. James Martineau, 
Beranger, George Sand, and, most of all, Mazzini, 
then in exile for his liberal jwlitlcal principles, 
but unalterably devoted to the freedom of his 
native Italy, who inspired Miss Fuller with the 
hope of an Italian republic, and whom she was 
to meet so soon in his own land and capital city. 

m the year 18-17, after sijending the summer in 
Switzerland, Miss Fuller established herself in 
Rome. The causes which led to the Italian Rev- 
olution of 1848 were then at work, and appealed 
to the young American woman's love of liberty. 
To throw off Papal rule and establish a republic 
at once enlisted her sympathy. It chanced that 
she now made the acquaintance of Marquis Os- 
soli, youngest son of an old Italian family of rank, 
all of whom, excepting himself, were adherents 
of the Pope, while he was a revolutionist and 
Captain of the Civic Guard of Rome. The ac- 
quaintance ripened into friendship and love, and 
in December, 1847, Margaret Fuller became Mar- 
chioness Ossoli. Her husband remained at his 
post. He was stationed during the sharpest of 
the hostilities on the Pincian Hill. With the 
entry into Rome of the French, who had es- 
poused the Papal claim, the revolution terminat- 
ed in defeat, and it became necessary for Ossoli, 
and none the less his wife, whose iDen had aided 
the patriot cause, to leave Rome. They went to 
Rieti and later to Florence. At the former place 
in September, 1848, when Ossoli had returned to 
Rome, a son was born to them, and named Ange- 
lo Phillip Eugene Ossoli. 

Margaret Fuller Ossoli employed her pen in 
writing a history of the Italian Revolution, which 
it was decided should be published in America, 
upon a visit there soon to be made. Ossoli had 
to forego such patrimony as would have been his 
had not his counti-y's cause taken the turn it did, 
and as his wife had but little means, their plans 
for the voyage to the United States led them, in 
order to save- expense, to embark. May 19, 1850, 
on the merchant vessel, the Elizabeth, bound for 
Philadelphia from Leghorn. The voyage was a 
long and trying one. "The world seemed to go 
sti-angely wrong." The caistain sickened and died 
of smalliwx. Baby Ossoli took the disease but 
was nursed back to health. At Gibraltar they 
were detained in quarantine. Finally when land 
and home were in sight, in the early morning of 
July mth. during a terrific gale that had begun 
twenty-four hours before, and which, unknown 
to the second mate, had carried them sixty miles 
out of their course, the ship ran upon the rocks 
off Fire Island, .lust below New York. By after- 
I'oon. after waiting in vain for the storm to sub- 
side, or the life-saving crew on the nearby coast 
to come to their assistance, and when about to 
commit themselves, as a last hope, to such safety 
as clinging to a plank might give among the 



tossing waves, the devoted three, along with the 
steward and several others of the crew, were 
swept from the forecastle by the heavy seas, and 

The shipwreck, with its attendant agony and 
despair, that cost the lives of a loving family, 
from one of whom the promise to American liter- 
ature was sure to add valuable achievements to 
excellent work already accomplished, makes as 
sad reading as any of which the writer knows. 

Years after Margaret Fuller Ossoli's sojourn 
among them, the people of Oregon took steps 
that have specially aided in perpetuating her 
memory. They walled up with substantial and 
attractive masonry the beautiful spring at the 
foot of Eagle's Nest Bluff, named by her "Gany- 
mede's Spring," and placed above it the marble 
tablet on which are inscribed the fact of her 
visit and the naming of the spring. The large 
island on Rock River just below the spring was 
at the same time fitted up for summer pleasures 
and named Margaret Fuller Island. Among the 
men most active in these memorial matters were 
the late Dr. H. A. Mix and Col. B. F. Sheets. 

A day, September 17, ISSO, having been set 
apart for dedicating the spring and the island to 
Oregon's literary patroness, many people assem- 
bled at the pavilion erected on the island, and, 
after listening to a program of addresses, poems 
and music, spent the remainder of the day in a 
general picnic. Among several letters read as 
having been received in answer to an invitation 
to ho present, was the following : 

"Concord, Mass., September 7, 18S0. 

"Dear Sii' : — You honor me by your note of in- 
vitation to attend the dedication of Margaret 
Fuller Island, at your Oregon, in the distant Illi- 
nois. In this celebration of a noble representa- 
tive American woman and author of wide repute, 
your townsfolk cx)nfer a lasting honor on them- 
selves and on the spot they dedicate to her ge- 
nius. Should it happen that I find myself in your 
near neighborhood during the coming autumn or 
winter, I should not willingly pass by without 
paying my respects to yourself and neighbors. 

"With my acknowledgments for your kind invi- 
tation, I am, 

"Very truly yours. 

"A. Bronson Alcott." 

The following is a copy of the inscription cut 
upon the marble tablet placed at Ganymede 

Spring at this time during the summer of the 
year ISSO : 


named by 

Margaret Fuller (Countess D'Ossoli), 

who named this bluff 


and. beneath the cedars on its crest, wrote 

"Ganymede to His Eagle," 

.July 4. 184.3. 









Mr. Wallace Heckman, of Chicago and "Gany- 
mede," may truly be considered one of the pio- 
neers of Ogle County, though of a later time, 
day, and purpose. Like another jEneas, it was 

"Troiae qui primus ab oris 
Italiam fato profugus Laviniaque venit 
with family and friends, to make a home amid 
the sweetness and glory of the outdoor frag- 
rance and bloom, and to enjoy the picturesque 
richness of "the beauty of Rock River." 

It was in the year of 1S92 that the attention 
of Sir. Heckman was directed by a friend to the 
tract of fine, wboded land, a natural forest, 
which he afterward purchased, and upon a bold 
bluff of which, commanding a sweeping view of 
a wide and magnificent stretch of river and 
region, he built a home to live in when the 
voice of the country calls the dweller of the 
city thence. 

The house constructed for this first summer 
home was built of Naperville cut-stone. A good 
quality of stone for other purposes, however, is 




obtained from a quarry along the roadway with- 
in the confines of the tract. Though not in the 
mind of the owner at the time of purchase, the 
tract forms an ideal place for an artist-colony. 
The ridge included within its boundaries is the 
famous "Eagle's Nest Bluff,'' holding near its 
crest above the steep river-side, the craggy 
rocks where is the gnarled and aged group of 
cedars, once the home of the eagle. In the tract, 
too, is contained the spring which bears the name 
of the beauteous youth who was cup-bearer to 
the Great Jove, King of the Gods, according to 
the classic myths of the Greeks and Romans — 
once a part of theii' religious belief. It includes, 
too, the island named for the gifted writer, of 
tragic fate, whose name and fame are indis- 
solubly linked with nest, bluff and spring. It is 
especially fitting that the region, so early asso- 
ciated with literary genius, should become the 
later home of artists and authors, and that sixty 
years after her historic visit, in setting apart 
with ceremonious rites "Ganymede Spring" in 
memory of Margaret Fuller, her name and fame 
should thus be preserved in this connection. 

Writing, in answer to -some questions regard- 
ing the settlement of himself and the Artists' 
Colony by the side of Rock River, Mr. Heck- 
man, modestly omitting that it was owing to 
his wise thought and generosity that they chose 
this sfiot, so suitable for a summer home, says : 

"The artists' colony came in 1S98 from a site 
on the shores of a pleasant lake in Indiana 
which turned out to be malarial. They had 
under consideration a location at the Dells in 
Wisconsin, but finally, after canvassing the mat- 
ter, selected Oregon. The following gentlemen 
took the somewhat permanent lease of the site: 
Lorado Taft, Ralph Clarkson, Oliver Dennett 
Grover, Charles Francis Browne, Henry D. Ful- 
ler, Hamlin Garland, Horace Spencer Fiske, 
James Spencer Dickerson, Allen B. Pond, Irving 
K, Pond, Clarence Dickinson. 

"Their enjoyment of their summer home there, 
the charming company of friends — writers, sculp- 
tors, painters, musical men and women, archi- 
tects, naturalists, scientists, and others engaged 
in kindred interesting occupations who constant- 
ly come and go— and the extent to which they 
have made the striking features of the Rock 
River Country known, are now matters of com- 
mon knowledge, as well as the fact that they 
no longer regard themselves as visitors, but as 
a permanent part of our community." That 

they have not been idle is shown by the fact 
that it was there, as Mr. Heckman states, that 
"Mr. Garland wrote 'Her Mountain Lover' and 
the greater part of the 'Eagle's Heart' ; Mr. 
Taft produced a large part of his 'Solitude of the 
Soul.' 'The Blind' and other pieces of sculpture 
and wrote the 'History of American Sculpture,' 
while Prof. George S. Goodspeed, of the Univer- 
sitj- of Chicago, wrote a considerable part of his 
•History of Ancient Civilization,' Mrs. Peattie 
Jliss Monroe, Miss Wallace, Mrs. Summers, Mr. 
Fuller and H. S. Fiske have each done consid- 
erable writing on the bluff, while Mr. Clarkson 
has occupied his time very largely for recrea- 
tive Mr. Charles Francis Browne and 
Oliver Dennett Grover, on the other hand, have 
made Oregon quite famous with their biiishes." 

The terms of the "somewhat permanent lease" 
alluded to by Mr. Heckman, appear to be chiefly 
for the benefit of residents of Oregon and Ogle 
County, as they include two lectures each year 
on art subjects, to be given by the lessees, to 
the people who live in the region. These lec- 
ture courses are presented at the Court House, 
under the management of the Public Library 
Board of Oregon, and almost all the members 
of the colony have, at one time and another, 
taken part in them, besides some of their tal- 
ented friends, the result being not only enter- 
taining but beneficial, extending the intellectual 
and artistic horizon of the hearers. 

One of the residents of the colony, whose Eng- 
lish is always charming for its felicity of ex- 
pression, has this to say about their location : 

"Our territory — just above Ganymede Spring 
and northwestn-ard, completing the jwint of the 
plateau, with a bit of the ravine beyond— ^is said 
to contain thirteen acres ; but the whole land- 
scape is ours to enjoy, particularly the great 
panorama of the Rock River Valley, extending 
for miles up and down stream. The view from 
our heights, so exceptional in Illinois, is a con- 
stant source of inspiration to our painters. There 
is no important exhibition in Chicago which does 
not contain from one to a score of paintings of 
this picturesque region." 

Many residents will reniemlier the tepee on 
the brow of the bluff, in which Mr. Garland wrote 
the stories referred to in the summer of 1899, 
just after the return from his Alaskan trip. It 
was during the same summer that the brilliant 
and realistic story-writer and a charming young 
sculptor of the colony found a romance of their 



own, and the merry wedding bells pealed, later, 
their "grand, sweet song." 

In the seclusion of the "outlook" library of 
Gan.vniede, Mr. Taft prepared the manuscript 
for his work ou the history of American sculp- 
ture. In this attic outlook, too, are the "extra 
quarters" for the entertainment of the overflow 
guests attracted by the genial hospitality of the 
owner and his wife and daughter. Many inter- 
e.sting visitors from afai- have been entertained 
at Ganymede and Eagle's Nest Camp, among 
them Dauiel H. Burnham, Charles L. Hutchin- 
son. Martin Ryersou, Robert Herrick, Ernest 
Thompson-Seton. Leonard Ochtman, Hermon 
MacXeil, Cyrus Dallin, Madeline Tale Wynne, 
Elizaljeth Wallace, Harriet Monroe, Lucy Fitch 
Perkins, Judge C. C. Kohlsaat, Fannie Bloom- 
fleld-Zeisler. George Barr McCutebeon, Ella W. 
Peattie. the late Dr. William R. Harper and 
his family. Dr. and Mrs. Harry Pratt Judson, 
and Prof. Miehelsou. to whom was awarded in 
1907 the Nobel Prize for physical research. 

Mr. Taffs group, "The Blind," is the outcome 
of a play, by Maurice Maeterlinck. "Les Aven- 
gles," given by the colony, in the original French, 
at the dusk of evening among the trees sloping 
down to the north from the studio of the sculp- 
tor. Mr. Taft is now at work upon a colossal 
statue of George Washington, which, when fin- 
ished, is to be placed upon the campus of the 
University of Washington at Seattle. This work 
has been carried on at his studio upon the bluff 
now for two summers, being transferred during 
the winter to his studio on the Midway. It is 
c-onsidered by competent judges that, since the 
death of Augustus St. Gatidens. Lorado Taft oc- 
cupies the foremost place among American sculp- 
tors, and it is expected that this figure of Wash- 
ington will rank equally with the great repre- 
sentation of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln Park, 
executed by St. Gaudens. Mr. Taft is also at 
work upon a statue of Black Hawk, to be placed 
above Eagle's Nest, overlooking the valley. 

In this connection may be mentioned a num- 
ber of paintings which have been on exhibition 
in the Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, repre- 
senting scenes on Rock River. These include 
paintings to he seen a few years ago in the ex- 
hibit of Mr. Charles Francis Browne, and later 
some art works by Mr. Oliver Bennett Grover, all 
of which tend to prove the beauty of Rock River 
scenery. At the time of the preparation of mat- 
ter for this rhapter. Mr. Ralph Clarkson. a suc- 

cessful and popular portrait painter, is build- 
ing a studio at the bluff and in the rear of the 
camp, where he contemplates doing summer 
work. Others who have been frequent visitors 
at the colony are ilr. Horace Spencer Fiske. 
Professor of English Literature in the Univer- 
sity of Chicago and author of a volume of poems ; 
Mr. Wallace Heekman, Counsellor and Business 
Manager of the University of Chicago; Mr. 
James Spencer Dickerson, for a number of years 
editor of "The Baptist Standard," Chicago, and 
the Pond Brothers — Allen B. and Irving K. — 
architects and designers of the Lowden home and 
the Oregon Public Library building. Of the house 
of Col. Lowden, William Herbert, in the "Archi- 
tectural Record" for October, 1S97. thus writes: 

"The place of Col. Frank O. Lowden, at Ore- 
gon, 111., belongs to a class of country estates 
which are numerous in the East, but which are 
as yet comparatively rare in the West. It is an 
estate of large acreage, situated in a fine, well- 
wooded and well-watered country, which the 
owner uses, not merely as a residence, but as a 
combination of dwelling and farm. Altogether 
it is one of the most convenient and compact 
plans which we have ever seen, and equally in- 
teresting is the sturdy simplicity of the treat- 

The Ore.gon Librai*y building is characterized 
by the same "sturdy simplicity" and will increase 
in architectural effect as time darkens its color- 
ing. It Is not probable, however, that a similar 
satisfaction will be derived from the place of the 
location of the structure. An art room is a 
special feature of the library building. This ad- 
dition is due to the suggestion of the architects 
and artists of the colony. In October, 1908, oc- 
curred the Initial exhibit in this art room, con- 
sisting of paintings by Mr. Leon A. Makielski, of 
Rock River scenery. From this exhibit the Ore- 
gon Woman's Council has placed the first picture 
in the art room, 

In the "Sunday Magazine" of the "Chicago 
Record-Herald," during the winter of 1908, ap- 
peared n wholesome story from the pen of Mrs. 
Peattie. This was entitled "The Girl from Grand 
Detour." and attracted the interest of many 
re.nders. The story was tlie result of a sum- 
mer's stay by Mr. and Mrs. Peattie at the camp 
in the vacant cottage of Mr. Grover. In "The 
House Beautiful" for August. 1904, may be 
foniirl nn article by Miss Harriet Monroe, de- 
scriptive of the artistic homes and surroundings 



of the residents at Eagle's Nest Bluff. The large 
Camp-House, designed by the Messrs. Pond for 
living-room and dining hall, is the central fea- 
ture of the house, and is a cheery gathering place 
with its generous fireplace and hospitable air. 
One of the events of the Camp is the observance 
of Labor Day. Much time and thought are given 
by the members of the colony to the preparation 
of costumes, banners, mottoes and ti-ansparencies, 
in- true parade style. At the sunset hour, with 
the sound of trumpet, drum and bugle, the pro- 
cession sets forth, their objective point being the 
home of their "over-lord," and the climax of all 
this ceremony is their paying to him their an- 
nual rent-money, Which is the sum of one dollar 
"in hand paid." One of their transp;irencies. one 
year of financial depression over the country, read. 
"Worli for the unemployed!" Among the other 
summer residents along Rock River are Dr. and 
Mrs. A. W. Hoyt, of Chicago. Their home in- 
cludes the well-known "Trask farm," beyond the 
"Second Narrows," and the fine stretch of wood- 
land extending south to Mud Creek. These new 
owners have made upon this tract a very attrac- 
tive summer home. Which they have named 
"Beauvoir." often remaining In it over Thanks- 
giving and returning at Christmas-time to en- 
joy the winter pleasures of the region. 

"The Grange" is the river home of Mr. E. A. 
Laughlin, having been built by himself and his 
sister. Miss Hester B. Laughlin, now Mrs. -C. E. 
Pfister, formerly of St. Louis. In this capacious 
and hospitable home both their old and their new 
friends have been entertained b,v tliem with gen- 
uine Southern cordiality and hospitalitj-, and the 
river has been at times much enlivened by their 
ranoes and boats, and river-side sports. This 
property adjoins Springe-ale Farm, and "The 
Bungalow" of Judge James H. CartwTight. and 
has upon it a large spring of fine water similar to 
Knox Spring, i,nd just above it. Near the 
Grange on the hillside to the northwest also is 
the summer home of the Van Inwegen family. 

For a number of years, the "Dr. Mix Home" 
attracted many visitors each season to Oregon 
during the summer, where some of them have 
finoe made permanent home*:. Among these is 
Mr. L. Warmolts, who has replaced, with a sub- 

stantial cement dwelling, the home on the east 
bank of the river, near the Three Sistere, which 
was burned some time ago. Mr. C. M. Babbitt, 
of Chicago, has also built a residence in which 
to live all the year round, and takes an active 
p:irt in the affairs of the region. 

McKenney's Island, now also called Elm Isle, 
a little distance south of Oregon, has latterly 
been the home of summer residents. Some years 
ago. the lower half of the island was purchased 
from Dr. George M. McKenney and Mr. Charles 
M. Gale, by a number of Mount Jlorris people and 
their friends, who added sevei'al cottages to the 
buildings already there, and formed the "Mount 
Morris Camp," having a commodious structure 
for a common living-room and dining room. To 
this camp, since its formation, have belonged the 
following: From Mount Morris. Mr. H. W. 
Cushing and family, Mr. R. C. McCredie and 
family, Mr. C. E. Price and family, Mr. George 
V. Farwell : from Rock Island, Mr. A. D. Welch 
and family, and Mr. G. B. Canode; from Rock- 
ford, Mr. A. E. Elmore and family; from Ef- 
fingham, Mr. F. W. Hazelton; from Tiskllwa, 
Mr. C. N. Pettigrew. Upon the upper half of the 
island the following have made a summer home : 
from Oregon. Mr. J. C. Seyster and family. Judge 
Frank E. Reed and family, Mr. W. H. Guilford. 
Mr. C. M. Gale and family, Mr. George Hopkins 
and family. Dr. George McKenney, Miss Jennie 
Dimon ; fi-om Kew^anee, Mr. R. H. Lamb and 
family ; from Roehelle, Mr. J. L. Spath and fam- 
ily. The summer residents on McKenney's Is- 
land have "kept house" with old-time generous 
hospitality-, and the many visitors there have 
been given a cordial welcome. 

The latest summer home is that of the artist, 
Mr. A. D. Reed, on the east bank of the river, 
just above McKenney's Island. Mr. Reed for- 
merly lived in this vicinity, but his artistic work 
of illustrator has taken him to New York for a 
part of the year. In his present picturesque sur- 
roundings he finds abundant material for his 
sketches. The pen and ink sketch of the Wash- 
ington Grove Boulder, signed "A. D. T.," was 
made by Mr. Reed, and conti-ibuted by him. pur- 
posely for the use of this history. 





(By the Late JoIid V. B'arwell.) 

The Farwell family moved from New York to 
this county in 1838, when "Oregon City" was the 
county seat, and was thus described by one who 
then saw it: "The great city of Oregon City, 
three houses and a smolie house." A most vivid 
recollection of Illinois is drawn from a "prairie 
schooner" containing the Farwell family, July, 
1838, bound for Rock River. Old Fort Dearborn, 
erected to fight Indians, was then one of Chica- 
go's notable structures. The rest were mostly 
one and two-story wood buildings. There was a 
population of about 2,000. 

The journey to Rock River was over wild prai- 
ries, with here and there a stopping place for 
travellers at small groves of timber, of which 
there were very few ; so that it became a common 
saying, when no timber -was in sight, that we 
were "out of sight of land." Arriving at our 
destination, the 20-foot square log house, in- 
stead of being prepared for our reception, was 
filled with garden truck, and our moving "prai- 
rie schooner" had still to do duty as our habita- 
tion until the house was cleaned and renovated. 

Tlie next vivid picture upon the canvas of my 
memory is composed of two families in our log 
house, fourteen in number, all but my mother 
and the baby sick with chills and fever, and the 
doctor sitting on a trunk in the center dealing out 
medicine. Father was completely overcome with 
this dismal picture, and proposed to mother to go 
back to our old home in New York State as soon 
as we were well enough. Mother replied, "We 
have come here to make a home for ourselves and 
our children, and God helping us, we will stay 
and accomplish our purpose." 

This settled it, and Father said to the doctor : 
"All these depend on me for support, and you 

must cure me at once for that purpose." The i 

necessity of the situation opened the way for the ' 

doctor and Providence to effect his cure, and I 

only one of the 14 found a grave before a new i 

commodious log house was finished, so that each I 

family had a roof of its own. In the meantime i 

some of us were real shakers, for the fever and [ 

ague did not leave us for months. To see us i 

shake with the chills was a moving picture not | 

to be produced in any other way. [Mr. Farwell ] 

here alludes to the episode of the war between \ 

the "Prairie Bandits" and the "Regulars," which 
resulted in the lynching of the Driscolls, but as 
this is told in another chapter, it is not neces- 
sary to repeat it here.] 

In the winter of 1838-39 Indians, moving out 
of Illinois into Iowa, camped near our home. 
They got some whisky, instead of the gospel, 
from some of these frontier human fiends, and 
two were killed in a drunken brawl. I visited 
their camp and, for the first time, saw the In- 
dians who once iwpulated all North America. 
They had caught some muskrats and I saw them 
cook and eat those animals. They dug a hole in 
the ground, put in it a raw skin of some kind, 
filled it with water, then heated some stones red 
hot and put them in the water with the muskrats, 
whole, making it boil until they were cooked. 
Then the Indians ate them, entrails and all, with 
an appetite that proved that "the survival of the 
fittest" had made them competent to feed on 
such diet. 

Sports. — It is not to be supposed that the early 
settlers of Illinois were without sports or recre- 
ation. The vast prairies were so full of ])rairie 
chickens that, in the breeding season, their mu- 
sic was heard on every breeze. The scanty for- 
ests were crowded with squirrels, raccoons and 
deer. Beautiful Rock River swarmed with 
enough fish to feed a continent. Black bass, as 
game as speckled ti'out, and catfish weighing 
from one to 70 pounds, were always obtainable 
in their season. 

There were no $20 rods to be had, and there 
was no money to buy them with if there had 
been such rods ; but a spear for night work, and 
a hook and line and pole that did the business in 
the daylight, were imjMrted from Chicago. Sup- 
pose we accompany the fai-mers' boys on a night 
fray. They are in a boat provided with an iron 
grate in front to hold . a torch made of hickory 
bark. Proceeding slowly up stream, it is not long 


Ml MiiKkl-, 








before they strike a 20-pound pickerel, which 
struggles for freedom with such force as to 
break the spear handle. However, enough of the 
fiber remains intact to land the fish on the bot- 
tom of the boat. Numerous smaller fish are ob- 
tained after that ; then a 20-pound catfish is 
caught on the spear. When landed inside the 
boat, its strength was sufficient to make havoc of 
our seat with its swinging tail, reminding its cap- 
tors that it must be thi'ust under the gunwale in 
front or it would soon unload the boat of all the 
smaller fish. That ends the night's sport, which 
has resulted in the capture of two fish weighing 
forty pounds, and enough smaller ones to bring 
up the total catch to lOO pounds. 

Black bass were caught from a high rock rising 
50 to 75 feet out of the river. The eddying cur- 
rent below made it ideal fishing ground. Bass 
weighing from tu'O to five pounds could always 
be had in season for the effort of catching them, 
and no finer fish swam than those taken from the 
clear, cold water of Rock River. Catfish were 
also caught with hook and line. One hallelujah 
Methodist, with less common sense than noise, 
hooked a 70-pounder, and dra^-iug it ashore, be- 
came very religious, making the welkin ring with 
his "Glory Hallelujah !" It is the only instance 
I know in which a catfish was the means of a 
religious inspiration. 

Prairie chickens, raccoons and deer supplied 
meat for the early settlers, at the same time 
giving the hardy frontiersmen plenty of exercise 
as well as sport. Suppose we go out with the 
same partj- with "coon" dogs for a night's hunt. 
Soon we hear the barking of the dogs, informing 
us that the unwary raccoons are, by invitiition 
of the dogs, up a tree, waiting for us to take care 
of them. That is done in the following fashion : 
The most handy climber mounts the tree and 
\\'ith a club, knocks the raccoons insensible, so 
that they let go theii- hold and drop to the 
ground, where the dogs form a reception com- 
mittee as noisy as a brass band. To this uproar 
the "coon" adds his unavailing protest against a 
personal attack. 

Incidents of this sort are repeated several 
times and then the journey home begins, which is 
interrupted by an extraordinary incident. A deer 
that has been sleeping among the top branches of 
a fallen tree attempts to rise and run just as the 
dogs are passing. It gets entangled in the tree 
limbs and so becomes an easy prey to the dogs. 
Never before ha\e the "coon" dogs captured a 

deer. Thus fresh meat is suppUed to the house 
tor a month without drawing on the farmyard. 

Not infrequently, when snow was on the 
ground, the deer ti'aveled in droves of from 3 to 
20, going from one grove to another. I remem- 
ber seeing a di-ove of 20 deer passmg in front of 
a farmer's house. A boy named Charlie Farwell, 
with a shotgun loaded with three bullets large 
enough to fill the barrel, started for them up a 
steep hill after they had passed the brow. Ai-- 
riving at that ixiint, he raised his gun and fired, 
whereupon he suddenly turned several somer- 
saults backwards down the hill. His gun went 
off at both ends effectually. The muzzle of it 
had taken in two inches of snow in the ascent 
and was blown off at that point when he fired. 
Xuthiug daunted by his mishap, he hurried back 
to his shooting position and on to whei-e the deer 
had been when he shot at them. There he found 
a great deal of blood on the snow. He followed 
the trail into a hazel thicket, but there it was 
lost. Consequently he concluded that he had 
merely drawn blood by a slight wound. But the 
following night was made hideous by the howling 
and quarrelling of a pack of wolves that was 
holding high carnival over the carcass of the 
deer. Another search by daylight revealed the 
bones that were the only relies of the wolves' re- 

Prairie chickens hardly ever graced the tables 
of the early settlers. Without hunting dogs, prai- 
rie chickens were hard to get. They could al- 
ways hide in the grass during the summer and 
fall, and during the winter they took to the 
trees in great flocks, where they could spy the 
hunter before he could get within gunshot. When 
hunting dogs took in the situation a few years 
later, there was plenty of magnificent fun and 
thexe were also feasts that kings might have 
been proud of, whenever time could be spared 
from the farm work to make a raid on the 

"Siwrt," the dog already referred to, was a 
watch dog. When wolves howled around the 
house that he had to guard, he howled back at 
them, the information that he was on duty. 

Such scenes, intermingled with raising corn 
for fuel and food, making brick, and a wagon to 
transport them, together with constructing log 
cabin furniture and similar employments, made 
life as picturesque as any modem city could 
make it. At the same time were produced brain 
and brawu which, with our boundless prairies of 



exceptional fertility, commingled to give us such 
men as Lincoln and Grant, and such a wealth of 
agricultural products as served very soon to make 
Chicago the center of the Northwest. Judging 
by the past, this citj' will one day be the center 
of the world, by the force of natural wealth, 
utilized for general distribution. 

Sixty-seven years in Illinois has witnessed 
more of progress than a like i^eriod in any other 
country the world has ever seen ; and a look over 
one's shoulder at the Indian camp, and at old 
Fort Dearborn when in Chicago, built as a de- 
fense against the Indians from the standpoint of 
today, makes one feel that his memories must 
certainly be only the wild creations of a dis- 
eased imagination instead of sober facts. 

We came in time to see the Indians leave this 
marvelous country, and now over 3,000,000 white 
people have taken their place. The new log 
mansion was hardly finished before Rev. Mr. Mit- 
chell, a Presiding Elder of the M. E. Church, made 
a meeting house of it, and the whole country for 
miles around came together for religious services. 
Rock River Seminary, at Mt. Morris, the protege 
of the M. E. Church, soon sprang into being, and 
in it Henrj' Farwell, my father, took a deep in- 
terest; and here I spent several winters before 
going to Chicago, keeping "bachelor's hall" in a 
little brick cabin built for that purpose, and ac- 
quired such an education as that institution could 
give. This, with the robust constitution acquired 
in work on the farm, was sijlendid capital with 
whieli to start business in after years in Chicago. 

Let us take a look into one log cabin. First, 
chairs, tables and bedsteads are needed, with 
only an axe, several augers, a saw and a draw- 
shave for tools, and green timber for material. 
The corners of the cabin are taken for the loca- 
tion of beds and only one post is required for two 
side pieces, the other two sides being fixed to 
the logs of the cabin, which made a very firm 
foundation for one or more occupants, according 
to size, and with room underneatli for a lower 
story of beds. Chairs and tables are also in due 
time evolved from the same materials, with the 
same tools, and a well-fumished frontiersman's 
home stands before you. 

One singular fact is that we had a labor union 
in those early days. Wlienever a man had his 
logs drawn for a house the neighbors all came 
together and rolled them into a house, witliout 
charge, except a good dinner which always meant 
enough. Labor unions now seem to think that 

no one but a member has any right to work for 
a living, saying nothing about building a neigh- 
bor's house for a dinner only. 

The Farwell family lived some distance from 
the brickyard, and how to get the brick to the 
chosen location was a puzzle, as it would not do 
to the lumber wagon, which was the only "go- 
to-meeting" conveyance in the country. So en- 
terprising home-made mechanics evolved wheels 
from a tree three feet in diameter, sawing them 
off to make them two feet wide and working holes 
through them for an axle made of a small 
hickory tree. Thus a wagon grew from a mental 
evolution of all its parts subjected to the same 
tools that furnished the log cabin. A look at this 
wagon with 1,000 bricks on it, greased with 
home-made soft soap, and drawn by three yoke 
of oxen, was another moving picture that would 
capture any cosmopolitan assembly, if it could 
only be reproduced in Burton Holmes' lectures. 

But what about farm work and farm products 
to support such luxurious homes and churches? 
Imagine a prairie plow drawn by four yoke of 
oxen, attended by two men, getting two acres a 
day ready for a crop of sod c-oru. that would pro- 
duce 10 to .SO bushels to the acre, and when the 
crop was ready for use, finding it the cheapest 
fuel you could get, both for your fireplace and 
!or your stomach. It is not hard work to imag- 
ine also that diamonds, silks, satins and broad- 
cloths would never be dreamed of as any part of 
the luxuries of that day. Calico dresses and 
sheep's gray clothing were the luxuries most ap- 

And yet there were royal society functions in 
those days, when the young men could take their 
sweethearts to social gatherings on horseback-^ 
the girls riding behind and being compelled to 
make of their lovers an anchor for safety, by 
hanging on with arms of strength if not of af- 

The young man who could steal a march on all 
his comrades by engaging the only side-saddle in 
town for his female companion's use, was not 
envied as much as he might have been, as the 
one-hoi-se vehicle afforded much the better chance 
for a lively conversation, just as private as a 
wide prairie could make it. 

When the old people were in search of social 
enjoyment, the "prairie schoner," with sails all 
furled and laid away, was seated with boards 
across the box and as many families as could be 
mustered on the same road to make a full cargo 



were gathered up on the \vay to the rendezvous, 
and no charge was made by the captain of the 
"schooner." It was a free pass, and there was no 
law against It, either. Another thing : there was 
more real pleasure extracted from an evening's 
entertainu^ent at a farmer's home, than in the 
millionaire showdowns of our gi-eat cities of 

Industrial eomhinatious and labor unions in 
Illinois began not alone with the rolling of logs 
into a house by men of a community without cost 
to the owner, except a good dinner. One family 
of boys started a basket factory with the primi- 
tive tools of the settlers and a few young white 
oak tree.s, to supply the farmers' demand for im- 
plements for handling corn, which was the main 
product of the farm. Those boys had learned the 
trade in New York State in helping an old man 
in his work, and now, out on the frontier, what 
they sowed in kindness they reaped in stock in 
trade, representing an income very much appre- 
ciated by the family, while the baskets were a 
benefaction to farmers In handling crops, thus 
making the factory very popular. 

Imagine white oak saplings, through the ne- 
cromancy of brains, muscle and a little early 
training, turned into transportation facilities that 
made an income for the boys and a joy forever 
to the farmer, who needed just such an addition 
to his implements for the production and disposi- 
tion of his crops. This was the modus operandi : 
A sapling was cut and split into lengths for ribs 
and splints and formed into regulation shape and 
lengths. These were then riven into thicknesses 
suitable for weaving the baskets of the sizes de- 
sired, and soon an assortment of all sizes was 
ready for the market. There was never a strike 
in that basket factory, and the division of pro- 
ceeds was on the most liberal scale. The whole 
family shared in them, except the proceeds of one 
basket (full size) which the junior member of 
the firm took to town on a trading excursion to 
obtain a jackknife for his Individual use. The 
basket was cheap at $1.50, and the merchant de- 
manded it for the knife, which probably cost him 
not over 15 cents. Here is where capital in that 
early day took advantage of labor, and yet there 
was no strike and no mob as a result. The boy 
IKJcketed the knife instead of revenge, and went 
home to whittle out the loss into a great gain 
in an Improved instniment for doing the fine 
work in basket-making. 

No tariff was needed in those early days to pro- 

tect home industries, but it was absolutely nec- 
essary occasionally to imiwrt from Chicago a few 
luxuries like tea, coffee, sugar and calico, which 
home industries could not produce, and to sell 
enough farm products to provide the purchase 
money. The first export was several sleigh-loads 
of dressed pork. In a bitter cold winter, the 
drivers of the sleighs going together for mutual 
protection. The reader will imagine himself one 
of the drivers, in the middle of a prairie, twenty 
miles across, and his ears assailed by the clamor 
of a howling, hungry pack of wolves which have 
surrounded the caravan, having scented fresh 
meat as a most desirable repast. 

If they had been the big gray wolves, there 
might have been a tragedy. There was a hotel 
and a good fire more hospitable than the grove 
where that wolf -beleaguered party arrived on the 
hither edge of that twenty mile prairie. 

.Vfter three more days of good sleighing, the 
iwrk was sold at $1.50 a hundred iwunds, $30 for 
a ton. But $30 was a big sum in those days 
even with tea $1 a pound, coffee 50 cents, sugar 
25 cents and calico 25 cents a yard, and the 
whole proceeds of the sale in purchases could be 
put into the smallest basket produced by the home 

This picture would not be complete without a 
look at a summer trip to market to sell wheat aud 
get trimmings and finishing lumber for a brick 
cottage mentioned on a previous page. There were 
no bridges in those days and the numberless 
sloughs were more troublesome than live streams. 
To cope with these it was necessary to land one 
load of wheat at a time on the Chicago side of 
the slough with several teams. 

On arriving In Chicago the wheat was sold for 
45 cents a bushel, or $18 for the load, with six 
good hard days to make it. The wheat was 
hoisted into the second story of a store at the 
corner of State and South Water streets with a 
rope elevator, and carried back 40 feet to a bin 
prepared to receive it. The merchant who bought 
the wheat pulled at the rope with the farmer boys 
who sold it. Armour's elevator is somewhat 
more effective, handling a few more bushels a 
day. Railroads, with 60 cars in a train and car- 
rying 80.000 bushels from Rock River in five 
bours, now affoi-d a somewhat improved method of 
transportation. Capital aud labor combined may 
be credited with the transformation. Before rail- 
roads were built by capital the great iwssibilities 
of labor in making the Northwest a great empire 



were amoug the mysteries of God's law of unde- 
veloped evolution. 

My recollection is tliat the first brick house in 
Ogle county was the product of home manufac- 
ture, from the brick to the wagon that trans- 
ported them. We were quite proud of this out- 
growth of an enforced tariff. We had no visions 
of "free" trade in those days, for we had no 
cash to meet balances of trade, and so had to 
work out our own salvation from every want that 
stared us in the face. 

Illinois was the pioneer State of the great 
Northwest in transforming into farms wild prai- 
rie lands covered with grass and flowers. As the 
prairies vj-ere boundless, this was not the work 
of a year, but of many years. If these fertile 
plains had been covered with forests instead of 
grass and flowers, like Ohio and other States in 
the East, this transformation would have requir- 
ed a century of time and an expenditure of labor 
and capital sufficient to span the continent with a 
first-class, thoroughly equipped railroad. 

But the farmers had to wait many years be- 
fore these farms meant anything to them more 
than a home, not because they did not raise good 
crops of all kinds, but because it cost as much to 
market in Chicago all that could not be eaten at 
home, as it brought if the labors of team and 
driver were counted for anything. 

Let us picture, if we can, the amount of labor 
necessary to produce 40 bushels of wheat, or one 
wagon load,- and market it : 
Plowing two acres, man and team one day, 

say $2.00 

Seed, sowing and harrowing 1.00 

Harvesting, two men, one day 2.00 

Threshing, horses and men, by treading 

out on the ground and winnowing in the 

wind 400 

Team and man, six days, to market in 

Chicago 12.00 

Peed for man and team, six days 3.00 

Total $24.00 

Sold in Chicago for $18.00 

The men wlio did the plowing and harvesting 
with the implements of that day were exhausted 
at the end of a day's work by holding a plow and 
walking behind it, or swinging a cradle to cut the 
grain. Now the plow holds itself, and gives the 
man a spring seat to ride on, and the wheat is 
sown and cut with machinery on which one man 
rides, drives a team and sows 15 or 20 acres. 

When the grain is riioe one man and team with a 
reaper cuts and binds 15 acres in a day. 

Accidents will happen in the use of the com- 
monest utensils, as well as of complicated ma- 
chinery. I remember an ambitious farmer's boy 
who imagined he could cradle. In his first swing 
of that harve.sting machine, he slashed a three- 
inch cut in the calf of his leg. This kind of har- 
vest required a surgeon, and his older brother 
hurried to the house for thread and needle, and 
sewed up the cut in the same fashion that he 
sewed on the buckskin c«ver of a baseball, with- 
out any anajsthetics, either. 

The only possible way to harvest crops with 
cradle and rake was by means of an excellent 
labor union among farmers and their boys, to 
gather the fields that were first ripe. Such an 
aggregation of labor thus employed made the 
work c-omparatively easy, as there were wide- 
awake ones that were weeks ahead of their neigh- 
bors in plowing and sowing; then others graded 
dow^l to the "slow coach," always behind his fel- 
lows. So a little army of laborers, going from 
one farm to another as the crops were ripe, made 
it one of the most successful labor unions I ever 
saw. There was no walking delegate, to be sure, 
warning all hands to quit because some one was 
at work who did not belong to the union. The 
only ones that had any right to complain were 
the farmers' wives, who had to feed this little 
army; but even here installments in the cooking 
line from the neighbors' reserve forces were al- 
ways ready to help feed their own families at an- 
other man's table, as it would soon be their turn 
to be the principal providers for that army when 
their wheat was ready for harvest. 

The McCormiek and Deerings were the natural 
products of these western prairies. They saw 
that it was not possible to harvest by hand, these 
vast regions of grain, and so they set their brains 
to work to produce reapers. They are the bene- 
factors of not only the farmer but everybody who 
consumes farm products, giving one an easy time 
in raising endless quantities of wheat, and the 
other a much cheaper price for his daily bread. 
The reaper has now surrounded the globe with 
its cheap food music, and enabled the husband- 
man to educate and clothe his family like a 
prince, while the man who, in the long ago, had 
no reaper and had to sell wheat for less than 
labor cost, had to get his children educated with 
as many difficulties as he encountered in farming. 

One farmer's boy worked in a brick-yard to 



earn, brick enough to build a one-story house 16 
teet square, in which to board himself and obtain 
a seminary education after having been gradu- 
ated in the common school near home. The sem- 
inary, the first one in the northern part of Illi- 
nois, gave to the State one Governor, several 
Congressmen, one Senator, a General in the army 
under Lincoln and Grant, and ministers ad 

Our first church service was in our doctor's 
cabin. The furniture was two double beds and 
some wooden benches, and the organ was a live 
one, the doctor's wife. The minister was Luke 
Hitchcock, who drove 21 miles, and preached 15 
minutes, with a class meeting to follow. The au- 
dience was unique, more children than adults, 
but the music filled the room with a symphony of 
real worship that no hired choir can begin to 
equal, for it was a heart, as well as a vocal or- 
chestra, when "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," was 
sung as only my mother could sing it, and re- 
minded me of that voiceless music of the fog 
turned into a crown of silver and gold clouds, to 
crown the mountains, on my way to market in 
New York State. 

• The next year, 1S40, there was a camp-meeting 
in the grove near a fine spring, coming up from 
the ground, as if to remind them in answer to 
their request, like the woman at Jacob's well, 
"Give me of this water, that I thirst not, neither 
come hither to draw." A large number drank of 
that living water, among whom were the Farwell 
boys, two of whom have gone where they "thirst 
no more." My own father led me to the altar 
the next day after I had heard my sainted 
mother praying for me before retiring for the 

Another meeting that had important results 
was held near Mount Morris, at the time the 
corner stone of the seminary was laid. A Bishop 
and many ministers of high rank were present 
to celebrate that event. There was another in- 
teresting person present — an Indian minister of 
vei->- fine appearance, who could sing to perfec- 
tion, making the forest ring with his music. 
Robert Hitt, then a very small boy. was one of 
the early students, his father being a prominent 
minister and an able supporter of the seminary. 

The problem of the young man of that day was 
to find opportunity to invest the capital of labor 
and ability for capital in cash, which was much 
more scarce than labor, and yet needed such 
partnership, as it always does and always will. 
In due time one of those boys concluded such a 
partnership at $8 a month and his board, with 
the promise of more if he earned it at the end of 
the year. Working from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 
sleeping in the store as watchman were the con- 
ditions of the partnership. It was the second 
largest retail dry-goods and grocery store in 
to\\-n. selling about $25,000 worth of goods a 
year. The work was selling goods and keeping 

It did not take a seminary graduate long to 
learn the ins and outs of this trade in a town of, 
say. 10,000 people, and when the year was up and 
no addition to the $S a month salary was allowed, 
that labor partner in trade shook the dust of that 
store from his feet as he bade good morning to 
the capital partner. Within an hour he quadru- 
pled the $S a month salary at another store. The 
cash capital partners in both, as well as the la- 
bor partner, were memtiers of the same Methodist 
Church, but the labor partner readily discovered 
a wide difference in the practical Ckristianity of 
the cash partner, in their business enterprises. 

When we had advanced so far in our farming 
business as to need a hired man, a very pious one 
was found, if noise is any evidence of that vir- 
tue. His "glory hallelujahs" in the class room, 
would nearly lift the roof, but when he took to 
the woods for prayer early in the morning and 
waked up "Sport" with his hallelujahs, so that 
Mother was wakened by Sport's answers, same 
as he gave to the wolves in the evening, Mother 
said to him at the breakfast table, "Mr. H., my 
opinion is that God is not deaf. He can hear a 
whisper, and, if religion is noise. Sport has more 
than you have. He waked me up this morning, 
when he answered your noisy prayers, the same 
as he does the wolves when they howl. Kindly 
try a whisper after this, and let me sleep, and 
you will get just as much from God and a much 
better breakfast from me, when I am not dis- 
turbed and wakened, when I ought to be sleep- 









A series of "Local History Lectures," given in 
the High School Assembly Room, at Oregon, 
during the winter of 1904-05, under the auspices 
of the Oregon Woman's Council, constituted an 
interesting feature of entertainments of that 
period. One of under the title, "Pioneer 
Mothers," by Mrs. Julia W. Peek, was delivered 
at the Old Settlers' Picnic at Mt. Morris, August 
25, 1904 : then in the series above referred to, 
on October 14, 1904. and again before the His- 
torical Society at Polo, October 12, 1905. This 
lecture Avould furnish interesting reading to a 
large class of readers, not only in Ogle County. 
but elsewhere, and it is only lack of space which 
prevents its publication in full in this volume. 

In this paper Mrs. Peek draws a vivid and ex- 
ceedingly entertaining picture of the life and 
work of the Pioneer Mothers, as the following 
extracts will show : 

"We are too far from the actors of the past, 
now fift.v to sevent.v .years away, to attempt more 
than a general statement, leaving you to fill in 
the names that must come thronging to your 
memories, as the homely details pass in review. 
It seems to be a law of nature that only a few 
names of those v.ho have achieved gi-eat results 
shall he known, while the great mass of men 
and women, whose skill and patience have 
brought events to pass, shall remain forever. 
. . . The stories I would like to tell have been 
told, not by those modest mothers who obeyed, 
too literally, St. Paul's injunction to keep silent, 
but by lovin.g husbands and grateful sons. They 
could not tell the story of their own achieve- 

ments without doing so, for beside them in 
danger, difficulty, discouragement and hard work, 
always stood a faithful woman, and sometimes 
the woman led, and always hers was the heavier 
burden, for to .slightly change a familiar say- 
ing, 'The pioneer mothers endured all the pio- 
neer fathers did, and the pioneer fathers, too.' 

"The nineteenth century was a period of great . 
improvement in all departments of life, and in 
none was it more rapid than in the manner of 
living. We can understand this only by recalling 
how our ancestors carried on their avocations in 
contrast to the way in which we do today. . . 
When the pioneer of today goes away out west 
to Dakota, or Montana, or Idaho, or Oklahoma, 
. . . they charter a car, put into it all their 
household goods, their stock and implements, 
and arriving at their destination, build a house 
vi'hieh, save for smaller enclosing walls, is quite 
like the house they left behind. . . . 

"Our pionesr mothers did their own work. 
Now-a-days we live in furnace-heated houses, 
with hot and cold water coming with a twist of 
the fingers ; another twist, and the electric lights 
flash out ; a 'phone to call the butcher, the baker 
and the grocery man to do our errands. Wp 
hire our washing and ironing done, have a woman 
come to sweep and wash windows, a man to beat 
rugs, a .seamstress to make what we cannot buy 
ready-made, and say we do our own work. . . 
Mr. Peek says, one of his most vivid recollections 
of his childhood is waking in the night and hear- 
ing his mother's wheel going. These processes 
sound short in the telling, but were long and ard- 
uous. I have seen cards — a sort of curry-comb 
for making the wool into rolls ready to be spun. 
Spinning on a large wheel must be done standing, 
and when we realize that for every yard of yarn 
spun, the spinner must walk two yards, we can 
realize the miles of tramping required to spin 
enough to make a suit of clothes." (Mrs. Peek then 
descrilies the tedious process of reeling the yarn 
in skeins, the sujiplying of the wai-p, the coloring 
and weaving the yarn into cloth and the manu- 
facture of the cloth into clothing for the boys and 
older members nf the family by the mothers in 
the home, or with the aid of a tailoress who used 
the needle instead of the sewing machine of to- 
day. ) "The mothers knit all the stockings, made 
the bread and butter, rendered the lard and tal- 
low after the butchering season, and from the 
remnants, with lye leached from ashes, manufac- 
tured the soap for laundry and toilet purposes; 










made starch from com or potatoes, and caudles 
by molding or dipping, and furnished four or five 
meals per day during the harvesting and haying 

"They (the mothers) were good neighbors, al- 
ways ready to help in time of trouble, and 
after a heavy day's work, went willingly to watch 
with the sick and 'lay out' the dead. . . . 

"Perhaps the greatest privation, because the 
most far-reaching in its results, was the lack of 
schools. The brothers and sisters who remained 
in the old home sent their sons, and sometimes 
their daughters, to college, but in this new coun- 
try the struggle for bare existence was so des- 
perate that every hand that could help was 
pressed into service. . . Coming as they did 
from the strongly religious communities of New 
York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New England, 
our mothers felt keenly the lack of church privi- 
leges ; but whatever was left behind, the Bible 
came, and there were not wanting those who 
could lead in prayer, so that services could be 
held whenever those who desired them gathered 
together. Almost every building erected for a 
school was used for a church until regular 
houses of worship were established. . . Ev- 
erybody was in the same boat, and there was 
nothing remarkable in the homely details I have 
instanced, for there was nothing different to 
compare them with. . . Goodfellowship and 
hospitality prevailed, and there was alwa.vs the 
hope of better times in the future, which is the 
pioneers strongest characteristic." 

The closing paragraph is especially worthy of 
reproduction in this connection. Referring to the 
changes which have been wrought in economic 
life by the progi'ess of the last fifty years, Mrs. 
Peek says : 

"The railroad came, making transportation 
to market easy. The spinning wheel and the 
loom were laid aside ; sewing machines made the 
family sevs'ing easy ; knitting machines made 
'boughten' stockings cheaper than home-made : 
niowei-s, reapers, corn planters and threshing- 
machines made out-door labor easier; while tlie 
wind-mill, pumping water from deep wells, made 
the prairies habitable for the cattle and swine 
that were the farmer's gold-mine. 

"All too soon the last of the spinners will have 
passed away, and the hum of the wheel exist, 
only as a memor.v, in the hearts of men and 
women who fondly cherish the recollections of 
pioneer mothers. The knack of swinging the 

scythe and cradle is a lost art, and fine hand- 
sewing is called 'fancy work.' Before we part 
let us twine a wreath to the memory of the pio- 
neer mothers, brave, strong, unselfish, deeply 
devout, given to hospitality, out-spoken for what 
they believed to be the right, merry in the midst 
of trials that would have crazed women of less 
[Wise — they acted their part well, and their chil- 
dren do rise up and call them blessed." 


The follo\\-ing portion of this chapter, dealing 
with the local history of Oregon City, is taken 
from a lecture delivered by Col. B. F. Sheets, 
on "Early Oregon and The Pioneers." Iiefore the 
Woman's Council of Oregon, in 1904 : 

"These pioneers were a sturdy, industrious and 
intelligent class of men and women, who have 
left the impress of their characters upon all the 
heritage they have bequeathed to us. Their im- 
press is upon the laws, the public school system 
and all the charitable institutions of our great 

"The man idiat can challenge the most rigid 
scrutiny of his life and can appeal to all the 
world for a verdict of his integrity, has a prouder 
honor than office or place can bestow upon him. 
He leaves a richer legacy to his children than the 
spoils of office cau give. Such a man is a public 
benefactor. The pioneer men and women were 
largely of this character. No higher tribute can 
be paid to their memory. They could have left 
no better or more endnring monument. They 
made a little go a long wa.y and it is perfectly 
wonderful how economical they could be. The 
pioneers were frugal. They lived within their 
means and their surroundings were in harmony 
with their circumstances. They were industri- 
ons, and the rich soil soon placed most of them 
beyond the reach of want. 

So far as I am able to learn, the first visit of 
a white man to this locality was made by John 
Phelps in 1829, who was born in Bedford Coun- 
ty. ^■a.. August 8, 1796. He was a man of reso- 
lute will, warm in his friendships and bitter in 
his enmities. On his first trip, he visited with 
the Indians, who treated him with the greatest 
kindness. In the fall of 1833 he hired a French- 
man who had lived with the Indians, and the two 
visited this locality again. About a mile above 
the present city of Oregon, they discovered a 
tent on the banks of the River, and supposing it 
to be an Indian wigi^-am. the Frenchman was 



seut to get something to eat. He found it occu- 
pied by Col. W. S. Hamilton, son of Alexander 
Hamilton, wbo had been sent by the United 
States Government to survey the Rock River 
country in towoiships. On the recommendation 
of Col. Hamilton, Mr. Phelps located a farm 
claim about half way between Oregon and Mt. 
Morris, now constituting a part of the estate 
of the late Major Charles Newcomer. He also 
made a claim now included in part of Oregon. 
This was surveyed in 1S35 and in 1S36 was 
platted in town lots, the new town being 
given the name of Florence. In 1836 Miss Sarah 
Phelps, daughter of John Phelps, and later the 
wife of Mr. Wesley Johnson, renamed the town 
Oregon City. At that time the Rock River coun- 
try was a part of Jo Daviess Couutj-, of wliich 
Galena was the county-seat, from 1S27 to Decem- 
ber. 1836. 

In 1830, Ogle County was established by act of 
the Legislature, and was named by Gov. Thomas 
Ford, who was one of the early settlers in Ore- 
gon. The name Ogle was intended to perpetuate 
the memory of Captain Ogle, an army officer of 
great courage and daring who was conspicuous in 
the siege of Fort Heni-y. In 1836 it embraced all 
of Lee County, which was set off from Ogle in 
February, 1839. During the time the two coun- 
ties were one there was constant strife between 
Dixon and Oregon for the county-seat, these ri- 
val interests leading to the final division and 
separation. During this rivalry the courts were 
migratory and were held at Dixon, Buffalo Grove 
and Oregon. The first effort to elect County 
Commissioners before the division of the county 
resulted in a victory for Dixon. John V. Gale, 
formerly an Oregon pioneer, wrote in his diary 
concerning that election : "There was great ex- 
citement at this election. All the to^iis were 
against Oregon. A large quantity of whisky was 
drunk and several fights occurred. Dixon, Grand 
Detour, Buffalo Grove and Bloomingville, now 
Byron, all combined against Oregon. It was the 
noisiest, roughest, most exciting election ever 
held in the county." The commissioners ap- 
pointed for the purpose by the State Legislature. 
June 30, 18:^6, selected Oregon as the county- 
seat, and named the southeast quarter of section 
4, Town 23 North, Range 10 East of the Fourth 
Meridian, as a place for the future court house. 
A stake was set by them on Sand Hill, just north 
and west of the old schoolhouse. now the home 
of C. W. Samniis. .\ contract was let in Jan- 

uary, 1839, for grading down Sand Hill and for 
building a court house and jail. The court house 
contract was awarded to Dr. William J. Mix, 
JIartin C. Hill and John C. Hulett. The contract 
for the jail was first awai-ded to John Acker, but 
the conditions not being complied with, it was 
later awarded to Joseph Knox. The contract for 
leveling down the sand hill was awarded to the 
same person. On July 3, 1839, Knox having com- 
pleted the work, was paid $326.12. The spring on 
Judge Cartwright's farm was named for him and 
was known for many years as Knox Spring. The 
foundations for the first court house were built 
on the sand hill, but before work was begun on 
the main building, it was discovered that the 
commissioners had made a mistake in the loca- 
tion. Joseph Crawford. Suiweyor of Ogle County, 
was called to survey the ground and certified to 
the error on October 2, 1839, and the Commis- 
sioners, on the strength of this certificate reset the 
stake at the place where the court house now 
stands. A bitter controversy grew out of the 
change in location. Lots had been sold, expect- 
ing the court house to be on the sand hill. The 
strife continued and was carried to the authori- 
ties at Washington, D. C, and finally the Land 
Commissioner of the United States settled it in 
favor of the present location. The contract for 
the removal of the foundations from the sand 
hill was awarded to John D. Grist in 1840. Dur- 
ing that year the first court house in Oregon and 
for Ogle County was built, and was completed in 
March. 1S41. The first court to be held was set 
for March 22, 1841. On Sunday night, March 
26, the building was fired by a gang of thieves 
and burned to the ground. An account of this is 
given elsewhere in this volume. 

After the burning of the first court house a 
great effort was made to remove the county-seat 
from Oregon. Mt. Morris, Daysville, Grand De- 
tour and Byron were the aspiring towns. At 
that time and for a number of years, Daysville 
seemed more active and progressive than Oregon, 
and without doubt, Mt. Morris and Grand De- 
tour were far in advance. In April. 1843, a 
meeting was called to settle the county-seat ques- 
tion, assembling at the school-house, a part of 
which is still standing as the present home of 
.Tonas Seyster. Before the vote was taken. Days- 
ville withdrew its claim and by its help Oregon 
won the county seat. Immediately following the 
Connnissioners planned for a new court house, 
and this was built in 1848 and was used for many 



years for all public occasions until replaced by 
the present elegant structure in 1S92. 

The first house on the town plat of Oregon 
was built by Jonathan W. Jenkins. He was one 
of the 112 men indicted for the shooting and kill- 
ing of John and William Driscoll, two of the no- 
torious outlaws who infested the county in 18-11. 
This was of logs and was located near the old 
"Reporter" building. At that time there was no 
saw-mill in the county, boards, siding, flooring 
and shingles had not made their appearance in 
this section. This first house was used for many 
purposes — a residence, a hotel, a boarding house, 
n court house and a church. It is said that the 
first sermon ever preaclied in Oregon was in that 
house, liy John Baker, a Baptist minister. 

At that time and until 1852, the river was 
crossed by means of a ferr.v-boat, the first ferry 
heing put in by John Phelps, in 1835. The first 
bridge over the river at Oregon was built in 1852 
and I crossed it in December of that year. It was 
built on piles and without any side railings. 
None of the islands above or below the bridge, 
except the large one. existed then, there being but 
the wide expanse of water from bank to bank. 
Those sand and gravel islands around the bridge 
have been formed by numerous breaks in the 
dam, the sand and gravel being dug out by the 
ice. often to th'? depth of ten, twenty or thirty 
feet and deposited below the dam, forming these 
islands. These holes have been filled with trees 
and stone until there are hundreds and hundreds 
of trees, and thousands of cords of stono. that lie 
buried under the present dam. Owing to the 
washing of the river banks the stream has been 
widened below the dam. When Mr. Petrie and I 
built the mill on the east side of the river in 1861- 
02. the mill was set into the east bank of the 
river, and the water passing through the wheels 
was carried west in a tail race to the channel of 
the river, showing that the river is at least 200 
feet farther to the east now than then. These 
breaks In the dam and the consequent damage to 
the mill are forcibly impressed on my mind, be- 
cause in these deep holes lie buried the earnings 
and savings of my young manhood. We have at 
least $30,000 safely buried and covered by fath- 
oms of water. 

The first physician in Oregon was Dr. William 
J. .Mix, who commenced his practice here in 1836. 
The first male child born here w^as Lamon T. Jen- 
kins, son of Jonathan W. Jenkins. One of this 
family. Mrs. Elijah Glasgow, still lives here. The 

first female child born in Oregon Township, was 
llartha E. Mix, mother of Dr. McKenney and of 
Mrs. Charles Gale. The first postmaster was 
Harry Moss, a relative of Mrs. Judge Petrie. 
The office was established in 1837 and mail re- 
ceived once a week. The first church organiza- 
tion was that of the Lutherans, in 1848, and two 
years later they built the first chui-ch in Oregon. 

In 1848 the population of Oregon was made up 
of 44 families with 225 men, women and children. 
The Sinnissippi Hotel is one of the old landmarks, 
built fifty-six years ago, and it is a place where 
all kinds of scenes have been enacted. 

yiy first view of Oregon City was from the 
summit of Woolley's Hill, on the east side of the 
river, the oldj road running south of the present 
one. It was a cold December day in 1852. At 
that time my home was out on one of the level 
prairies of Blackberry Township in Kane Coun- 
ty. With a comrade I was on my way to enter 
school at the Rock River Seminary, Mt. Morris. 
The ambition to go to the Seminary was inspired 
in me by the entreaties of my sister Carrie, two 
years older than myself. The day on which I 
had that first view of Oregon will always be re- 
membered. A wonderful panorama stretched out 
to my view, and the sight was one of wonder and 
magnificence to the prairie lad. At that time I 
had uot been down into the Grand Canon of 
Arizona and, from the banks of the Colorado, 
looked up 7,000 feet to the rim above ; I had not 
at that time walked the floor of the Yosemite 
Valley, and felt the strange and bewildering sen- 
sations that come over one as he looks up to the 
summit of El Capitan or Sentinel Point, South 
Dome of Glacial Point or other peaks all towering 
from 3,000 to 5,000 feet above, or where the 
water of the Yosemite falls into the Merced River 
from a point 2,600 feet in the air. 

This view of fair Oregon from Woolley's Hill, 
to a boy reared on the prairie, was grand and in- 
spiring, even if the thermometer was at zero. I 
had read and heard of Oregon City and expected 
to see something large and fine. As we crossed 
the bridge and looked at the few ugly, scattered 
houses, I could hardly helieve that we were be- 
holding Oregon Citj'. The town had gained some 
notoriety, being the county-seat of a large agri- 
cultural section, and as the home of Governor 
Ford, .-md more as the place where .Jonathan W. 
.Tenkins, with 111 others had been tried and ac- 
quitted of the killing of the outlaws, as previous- 
Iv mentioned. However, at that time, Oregon 



was a small place, uo better appearing than tbe 
present city of Daysville. Tbe people had not 
yet learned the value and beauty of paint, the 
greater part of the residences being without this 
covering. It has been reported that one of the 
early founders of Oregon said: "If I can keep 
God and the Yankees out, I will build a city 
here." At that time It looked to me that he had 
been in part successful, for it was one of the 
most discouraging looking places I had ever seen. 

Nine years after the ti'ip I have described, I 
came to Oregon to live, on the first of January, 
1S61. At that time, twenty-six years after the 
town was laid out, the population was only about 
350. There was not a sidewalk in the town. I 
bought a small house on the lots, where I after- 
ward built the house now owned by Mrs. Rhen- 
ius Stroh. That year we laid a single plank 
walk from Washington Street north to my house. 
If I have counted correctly, there were only 
seventy-one houses in Oregon at the beginning of 
1861. For ten years afterward we had no rail- 
road. We made frequent efforts, and succeeded 
every winter in building on paper, one east and 
one up and down the river. All freight had to 
go and come from Franklin Grove, and we had a 
daily stage line. At present we regard a rail- 
road as an imiwrtant factor in building up a place, 
and it undoubtedl.\ is ; but I am reminded that I 
sold more goods in 1869 and 1870 than in any two 
years since that time, and the goods were all 
handled by the Dewltt Sears' mule express. 

Of the future of Oregon I must speak briefly. 
Nature has done so much for this section that on 
every hand lie opportunities to make this city 
one of the most beautiful in the State. Much 
public spirit has been shown but much more is 
demanded. With public utilities installed and 
public parks opened up to the people, a great 
change will come about, and in a single decade 
Oregon will be completely transformed. (Col. 
Sheet's lecture closes with an appeal for local 
improvements and beautification which have since 
been, in part at least, accomplished.) 


The Rebellion of 18:37 and 1838 in Canada, re- 
sulted in the settlement of many emigrants from 
that country in Ogle County, among the first of 
these being John Lawrence and Schuyler Lamb, 
who arrived in Buffalo Grove in August. 18-38. 
locating near Rock Spring where the Chicago. 
Burlington & Quincy Railroad now crosses Buf- 

falo Creek. They were early reiut'orced by set- 
tlers from the Eastern States, some of the latter 
coming even before the arrival of the Canadian 
settlers, but it is believed that few entries of 
land were made before the establishment of the 
Government Land Office at Dixon in 1S40. Can- 
ada Settlement lies in about equal parts in the 
corners of the four townships of Buffalo, Eagle 
Point, Brookville and Lincoln. The groves of 
timber were drained by streams fed by numei^ 
ous springs and these streams were early util- 
ized for milling puriMses. The schoolhouse, soon 
located, was the center of the original Canada 

In the spring of 18:39, the families of John 
Sanborn, James Mosher, David Huie and Wil- 
liam Poole, came to Ogle County, via Buffalo 
and the lakes, and settled in Canada Settlement. 
That same year, John Lawrence, who had re- 
turned to Canada tbe preceding year, came back 
to Ogle County with his son-in-law, Alfred Chess- 
man. William Donaldson and their families. 
About this time •'land-grabbers" were making 
extensive claims, sometimes amounting to thou- 
sands of acres, for speculative puriwses, and 
some of these sold their claims to these new- 
comers at exorbitant prices. Mr. Johnson Law- 
rence, a descendant of one of these families, and 
now a resident of Polo, has been a Representa- 
tive in the General Assembly for three terms, 
besides filling other local offices. In the summer 
of 1S40, James Brand, with his five sons came 
to Canada Settlement ; and the same year John 
Lawson also came with his two sons and one 
daughter. About lSi2 or 1843, John Rae and 
John Donaldson arrived in the settlement ; in 
1843. Isaac Slater, Frank G. Jones, James A. 
Bassit, with their families, also located here. 
James and Joseph Sanborn, sons of Johu 
Sanlwrn, one of the early members of this 
colony, each served three years as soldiere of 
Illinois regiments during the Civil War. In 
18-14, the additions to the settlement included 
James Lyle. Joseph Allison and their families, 
and in 1849, William Rae took up his residence 
here. Following this, there were many from 
Canada who sought homes here, brought by the 
tidings sent to the old home by those who had 
already arrived, but it is impossible in this con- 
nection to give a complete history of all who 
came during the period refen-ed to. 

Schools and Library. — The first school in the 
settlement was held in a bedroom of John Law- 



reuee's bouse, and taught by Adu Bradwell, in 
the summer of 1842. In the fall of lSi3. the 
first schoolhouse was built nearly on the site 
of the present one, in the southeast corner of 
Brookville Township, of sun-dried brick, weath- 
erboarded, 18x24 feet, and served its purpose 
until 1857. Laura Wilber was its first teacher, 
opening school in the fall of 1843, and she was 
followed by many others. 

Desiring to secure a library, the people of the 
Canada Settlement perfected an organization 
knowu as the Washington Library Association. 
and each member, by pa.yment of one dollar an- 
nually, was entitled to the benefit of the asso- 
ciation. With what funds they could secure, the 
association bought books and a bookcase and for 
a time the libraiy was kept in different private 
liomes. When there were about 100 volumes in 
the library, interest decreased, so that in Decem- 
ber, 1858, the organization was dissolved, and 
the books divided among the members. 

The present school edifice was erected in 1896, 
at a cost of $1,200, and with recent improve- 
ments, is one of the finest rural school edifices 
in the county. 

Some other schools in Canada Settlement were 
taught in private residences. In the winter of 
1840-50, Agnes Huie taught school in a log 
building on the farm of William Poole. Charles 
Thurber taught school in his own home in the 
winters of 1850 and 1851, and his wife taught 
during the summers, just a little south of the 
present Burr Oak School. During 18.52 and 18.5.3 
school was held in a very small log house a little 
west of the Burr Oak School ; and the first school- 
house in this district was put up ou the corner of 
a farm owned by Ambrose Sanborn, which was 
replaced by another. James Brand, Sr., taught 
some pupils in addition to his own children, for 
a short time in the early 'forties. This is a 
lirlef review of the pioneer teachers of Canada 

The literary, educational and religious activ- 
ity of its members exerted a wide influence upon 
the surrounding community, and the Settlement 
stood second to no other in point of enterprise 
and intelligence in the county. 






The settlers of Ogle County from 18.35 to 1855, 
after building dwellings that their families might 
be sheltered, proceeded to construct school- 

LaPayette (.tROVe School. — One of the first 
schools of the county, and without doubt the first 
in a house erected for that purpose, was estab- 
lished hi the winter of 1836, at LaFayette Grove, 
and the teacher was Miss Chloe J. Benedict, who 
continued to teach there during 1837 and 1838. 
One morning the building, which was of logs and 
without a wooden floor, was found burned to the 
ground, evidently by a group of bandits, because 
a Jlethodist class meeting was to be held there 
on the following Sunday. But a curious thing 
happened. The bandits entered the building and, 
gathering up the books, papers, slates and even 
pens and pencils of the pupils, carefully deposited 
them on the outside out of the way of the fire, 
showing that, while they objected to religion, they 
did not see in education any danger ahead to 
them and their wickedness. If they did not be- 
lieve in the saying, "every knave is a fool," they 
proved the truth of it in their own ease later on. 

Jliss Benedict later married Rev. Barton H. 
Cartwright, then beginning a long career as a 
pioneer preacher of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. Riding from Washington Grove over 
to Mount Morris. Mr. Cartwright asked Rev. 
Thomas S. Hitt to accompany him back in order 
to settle a question of claims. Mr. Hitt at first 
declined, saying that he did not consider himself 
competent in that line of business, but uixm being 
informed that the matter to be settled was one 
of hearts and not of lands, he proceeded with his 



friend to Washington Grove and performed the 
marriage ceremony. 

It was in 1836 that the first school house was 
built at Byron, in the summer of 1S37 the first 
teacher being Miss Lydia A. Weldon. In 1S53 an 
academy was started there under the control of 
a stock company, with William B. Christopher as 
teacher in charge. It was never successful finan- 
cially, but those who attended testify to the ex- 
cellence of the instruction received, and it was 
sold to the district, becoming the old part of the 
building iu use lor a number of years and recent- 
ly destroyed by fire. 

ALSO in 1836 the first building used for school, 
church and general public purposes was built at 
Buffalo Grove by subscription. Among early 
teachers there were Simon Fellows, aftei-ward 
Prof. Fellows of Rock River Seminary and Cor- 
nell College, Iowa ; Virgil A. Bogue, afterward 
Judge Bogue of the Probate Court of Ogle Coun- 
ty: C. R. Barber, Rufus K. Frisbee, John W. 
Frisbee, afterward founder of Rock River Nor- 
mal College at Polo and County Commissioner of 
Schools, when he held the first institute in Ore- 
gon; Mrs. Rozella Pearson, Sarah H. Stevenson, 
late Dr. Sarah Haekett Stevenson of Chicago; 
and John Burroughs, now of Esopus, N. Y., the 
eminent naturalist-author, Itnov^Ti on two conti- 
nents for his interesting books on Nature. Mr. 
Burroughs had relatives living at Buffalo Grove, 
which was the occasion of his coming there. 



One of the earliest schools in Ogle County was 
that established in 1838, by Jacob Rice, Sr., in 
Mount Morris Township. The huilding was of 
logs and located in a hollow north of what was 
then Mr. Rice's residence. The slabs of which 
the benches and desks were made were sawed at 
the mill near Grand Detour. For a number of 
years this rude equipment was endured, when it 
was sui5planted by pine desks surrounding the 
sides of the room. Among other furnishings was 
a rough blackboard. The first teacher was 
Joshua Rice, a son of Jacob Rice, and a graduate 
of Transylvania College, Kentucky. After teach- 
ing for many years, he died en route to Califor- 
nia, via Panama, in 1849. At the age of eighteen 
his brother Isaac Rice took charge of the school, 
receiving as salary $18 per month. Among later 
teachers were Robert Debenham, D. Harry Ham- 
mer, later an attorney in Chicago, but lately de- 
ceased. During this period teachers "boarded 

around," about ts\-o weeks with each patron. Or- 
thography was a prominent feature of education 
in those days, and spelling schools were frequent, 
both as a method of education and social enter- 

Okelion Schools. 

It was iu the winter of 1837 that the first school 
was taught in Oregon in a small building erected 
by the side of the dwelling of Jonathan W. Jen- 
kins, the first house built on the town plat, one 
year before, on Third Street where the Jones 
shoe-store now is. Dr. Adams being the teacher. 
This was a sutrscription school, as was also the 
next, held in a log house on Fourth Street on the 
lot opposite the Mix livery barn in 1838, by 
a Mr. White of New York. This had an enroll- 
ment of about 40, the population then being from 
200 to 250. 

The first school house, intended as such when 
built, was erected in the summer and fall of 1839, 
and is still standing, being now the dwelling of 
Jonas Seyster on Fifth Street, Just off Washing- 
ton Street. The sills were hew-n from trees cut 
on the farm of Mr. Seyster's father, west of Ore- 
gon. The boards were from the Phelps sawauill 
on Pine Creek. Each desk accommodated four 
pupils and faced the front of the room, which 
was an innovation in those days. This was a pub- 
lic school in later years, but whether or not it 
was at the beginning it has not been pos.sible to 
ascertain. Isaac B. Woolley was connected with 
the establishment of the first school under the 
State law. The first teacher on Fifth Street was 
.\lfred Marks, who seems to have taught there 
again at a later date. In 1842 the teacher was 
a Mr. Doe. 

Norman B. Wadsworth was the te.acher about 
1844 and for several years after, followed about 
1847 or 1S48 by Caroline Wheelock, who, it is 
believed, taught for a longer time than any one 
else. Private schools continued, Mrs. King and 
.Mrs. Woodbury being teachers, the latter in a 
wing of the old court house ; also Mary Mix and 
several of the Lutheran preachers, two of whom 
were Mr. Trimper and Mr. Koontz. 

E. L. Wells was an Oregon teacher iu 18.")9, 
working in the Etnyre Building next to the Ma- 
sonic Temple, the school house on Fifth Street 
then not being large enough to acconmiodate all. 
In a letter Mr. Wells says, "instead of boarding 
around. I boarded at the homes of Robert Light, 
John M. Hinkle. and Mrs. Stone. They wished 
me to help their children evenings and boarded 



me witbout charge, the first two were school di- 
rectors." The enrollment was probably about 
sixty, and the branches taught were mostly read- 
ing, WTlting. sijelling, arithmetic, grammar, geog- 
raphy and U. S. History. The text-books were 
numerous, sometimes two or three in one branch 
of study. Some of them were the Elementary 
Spelling Book. English Reader, Rhetorical 
Reader, ICirkham's Grammar, Thompson's Arith- 
metics, and Mitchell's Geographies ; also Cobb's 
Spelling Book. 

At a later date Mr. Wells was County Super- 
intendent of Schools for three consecutive terms, 
when he founded the Wells' Teachers' Training 
School of Oregou. where he labored until his re- 
moval to Aurora a few years ago. 

De Witt Sears taught on Fifth Street in 1857 
and 1858. In 18.59 tlie second new school house 
was erected for Oregon, a good sized brick build- 
ing now the dwelling of Charles W. Sammis. dur> 
ing the construction of which use was made of 
the Court House, the teacher being Mr. Brown of 

At this time the teacher who was conducting 
school iu the Etnyre Building was Albert Wood- 
cock, afterward Jlajor Woodcock, from his ser- 
vice in the Civil War. He made Oregon his home 
for many .vears, serving as County Judge for two 
terms, and acting for several years as United 
States Consul at Catania, Italy, under appoint- 
ment of President Arthur. 

The Cxxada SETTLE^CE^'T School. 

In Buffalo Township six miles from Polo, along 
the old stage road from Dixon to Galena, was the 
Canada Settlement of pioneer days, a colony that 
came in the early "forties from near Toronto, 
being originally from Scotland. Their first school 
house was built in 1841. of sun-dried clay brick. 
There was a single room with .small windows, a 
door at one end and teacher's desk at the other, 
while on each side was a long desk the length of 
the room and facing the wall, provided with slab 
benches without backs for seats, for the use of 
the older pupils, with similar benches, without 
desks, about the room for the smaller children, 
and in the center of the room a large box-stove. 

The Canada Settlement School was known for 
its excellent teachers, its library and the study 
it induced. 

Mount Morris Schools. 

The first school at Mount Morris was taught in 

a log cabin a half mile west of the site of the 
village, in the gi-ove on the farm then owned by 
Samuel M. Hitt, and later by Prof. D. J. Pinck- 
ney. The teacher was A. Q. Allen, who came with 
the JIaryland Colony, the founders of Mount 
Morris, with the understanding that he would 
inaugurate an educational home in the Far West, 
Samuel M. Hitt and Nathaniel Swingley having 
engaged him for that purpose. The school was 
opened with twenty-six pupils soon after the 
arrival of the colony and was called "The Pine 
Creek Grammar School." On the 4th of July, 
1S:;0, when the cornerstone of Rock River Semi- 
nary was laid, Mr. Alleu's pupils attended the 
ceremony in a body, many of them later becoming 
pupils iu that institution. Later this school was 
c-onducted as the primary department of the 
Seminary, and was then iu charge of Miss Fannie 
Russell, but was discontinued in 1843 and pri- 
vate schools maintained for the children of the 
village. In 1S51 a new public school building, a 
long, two room, one-story frame structure, was 
erected in the east part of town where the dwell- 
ing houses of William H. Miller and Dr. J. B. 
Canode now stand. Here Mr. Allen again taught 
and at various times Mr. Streeter. John Page, 
with Miss Hannah Cheney, and Miss Sybil Sam- 

The branches taught iu our pioneer schools 
were reading, often from the New Testament ; 
writing, tlie teacher setting the copies ; arithmetic 
through Fractions and Proportion — called then 
the "Rule of Three;" spelling to the end of the 
book, a great deal of it. Including words of five 
and six syllables not often met with afterward, 
and geography in a limited way. In the case of 
the United States there was considerably less 
geography than now, because then the settlement 
of the country extended scarcely beyond the Mis- 
sissippi River, and all that remained from there 
to the Pacific the maps and the text briefly dis- 
posed of under the inclusive name and descrip- 
tion, "Great American Desert." "good only for 
grazing," which was a view^ expressed even by 
Daniel Webster in the Senate iu 1850 in a speech 
against the admission of California as a State. 
United States History was taught now and then. 
While the buildings and appointments were rude 
and the equipment was meager, it can neverthe- 
les.s be said that the teaching was often good, be- 
cause then, as now, the personality of the teacher 
counted for so much, after predicating, of course, 
a reasonable education. 



Another of the early schools of the county was 
that located on the Phelps farm northwest of 
Oregon. A story is told of a spelling match be- 
tween this and a neighboring school, in which it 
was agi-eed that no word should be given the 
spellers not found iu McGufCey's spelling book, 
notwithstanding which the teacher of the Phelps 
school interpolated a word iu pencil iu his c-opy 
of McGuffey, and acquainted the best speller of his 
school with it and its correct orthography. At 
the match he reserved the word until but two 
competitors remained on the floor, when he gave 
it to the pupil of the opposing school, who failed 
to spell it, and tlien to his own coached cham- 
pion, who, of course, spelled it and won out. 

Rock Rivek Seminary. — The initial school at 
Mount Morris was called "The Pine Creek Gram- 
mar School." It was given this particular name 
because its founders meant that it should develop 
into a school of higher education. With that ei;d 
in view Rev. Thomas S. Hitt, while attending the 
Illinois Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in session at Jacksonville, proposed that 
that body take the institution under its care and 
make of it a conference school. What the con- 
ference did was to appoint a committee to locate 
a seminary in Northern Illinois. Kishwaukee, 
Roscoe, Joliet, Chicago and the Maryland Colony 
came forward with offers, the most liberal of 
which was from the JSIarylaud Colony, pledging 
$8,000 iu money and 480 acres of land, and thus 
securing the seminary. Jlessrs. Samuel M. Hitt, 
Nathaniel Swingley, aud C. Burr Artz were ap- 
pointed a building conuuittee and on July 4, 1839, 
the corner-stone of a building to cost $18,000 was 
laid, aud in the fall of the following year Rock 
River Seminary oi^ened its doors. 

The annual commencement, or Mount Jlorris 
Exhibition, constituted a great occasion for hun- 
dreds who came from the surrounding country to 
listen to the day's exercises. For forty years, or 
until 1879, Rock River Seminary exerted a 
marked influence upon education, not only in 
Northern Illinois but throughout the State, and 
beyond, having in the meantime been Alma Mater 
of a niimber of men who became prominent in 
Illinois history. A concise history of its later life 
after it passed into the hands oif the United 
Brethren, will be found in the following section 
of this chapter. 



Rock River Seminary had an eventful career. 

but having been practically abandoned by the 
Methodist Church, which had been its patron for 
many years, it finally became financially involved, 
and when it became necessary that the property 
be sold, the Hon. Robert R. Hitt came to the res- 
cue and purchased the property. Through him It 
came into the hands of the Church of the Breth- 

Three names stand out prominently in the 
movement that led to the present ownership of 
the school. The first is that of Elder Melchor S. 
Newcomer, then a farmer of only ordinary learn- 
ing, but a successful business man who felt keen- 
ly the need of a scliool where men of limited 
means might send their children. The second was 
Elder John W. Stein, a man well educated and a 
school man of no mean ability, whose school 
training and practical experience eminently fitted 
him to become the first President of the institu- 
tion under the Brethren, and the success of the 
school during its first years showed what he 
might have done had it not been for a moral 
weakness that led to his early and disastrous 
fall. The third man was Elder Daniel L. Miller, 
a successful business man from Polo. To these 
men wlio saw what was needed and were willing 
to assume all responsibility, a debt of gratitude 
is due from their own denomination. After con- 
sultation with each other and Mr. Hitt, and sev- 
eral public meetings at Mount Morris, suflicient 
interest was aroused and means secured to pur- 
chase the property and plan for the future. 

The buildings were in a dilapidated condition, 
aud it soon became apparent that considerable 
money must be spent to put things in shape for 
the opening of school, August 20, 1879. The build- 
ings were repaired, the grounds were put into 
shape, courses were arranged and teachers en- 
gaged. Three courses, namely. Academy, College 
and Business, were offered. The first term saw 
sixty students in attendance. The first Board of 
Directors was : J. W. Stein, President ; D. L. 
Miller, Secretary; M. S. Newcomer, Treasurer; 
and S. A. Stein. The first faculty was: J. W. 
Stein, President ; W. E. Lockard, Professor of 
Mathematics and Teacher of Elocution ; J. W. 
.Tenks. Professor of Languages and Literature; 
Fernando Sanford, Professor of Natural and Phy- 
sical Sciences ; M. G. Rorbaugh, Principal of 
Commercial Department ; Mattie A. Lear, As- 
sistant Teacher in English Branches; A. McClure, 
Teacher of Vocal Music : and Margaretta Lauver, 
Teacher of Primary School. 

Q2V\eje C^5S^s^Tf'V''m»"*>>X'^'^ 



Of this faculty two members, Profs. Jenks and 
Sanford, have since won an international repu- 
tation. It is furttier to be noted that ever since 
that date the University of Michigan has been 
furnishing teachers for Mount Morris College 
and has. in turn, been receiving students from 
her. President Stein fras a wise manager and 
the school grew in popularity and increased rap- 
idl.v in numbers. After his connection \vlth the 
school was severed it fell to the lot of D. L. Mil- 
ler to perform the duties of the President as well 
as those of Business Manager. President Miller 
was not a college-bred nor a college-trained man, 
but his keen business instinct made his manage- 
ment of the school especially successful. 

In the fall of 188i, Prof. John G. Royer, Prin- 
cipal of the Monticello (Ind.) schools, came to 
Mount Morris and assumed the charge of the 
school. He had had an extensive experience in 
school work. The school was rechartered, a 
stock company was formed to assume financial 
control, and Prof. Royer, selecting his faculty, 
virtually became President of Mount Morris Col- 
lege, though at that time he was not styled more 
than Principal. Later he was formally elected to 
the office of President, continuing until 1904. 
when he completed his fiftieth year as teacher. 
Under hi.s management the patronage of the 
school grew, and a very large number of young 
men and women went out from under his in- 
struction. The Bible Department and the De- 
partment of Music and Oratory were added, un- 
der his administration. 

When the school was first purchased by the 
partment of Music and Oratory were added un- 
there have been some changes. The old methods 
of heating have been discarded, and all the build- 
ings are heated by steam. New buildings have 
been erected and old ones remodeled or torn 

In 1890, College Hall was erected, being 72x120, 
the greater part being three stories high. Here 
are the oflices, library, chapel recitation rooms 
and the two society halls. It is a brick-veneered 

The original "Old Sandstone," the old land- 
mark so dear to Rock River Seminary students, 
was razed to the ground in 1893. Just west of it 
the new "Ladies Hall" was erected, larger, and 
better adapted to present needs. This is a red 
brick-veneer building, 30x80 feet, the three floors 
furnishing homes for the girls while the basement 
serves as a dining room for all. 

After the girls were given a new building the 
trustees built over "Old Sandstone" number two. 
This is a large stone building. 40x120 feet and is 
the home for the young men. Besides this. It has 
a chapel and three laboratories on the first floor 
and commercial hall on the second floor. 

This covers the building till 1908. For a long 
time the need of more room has been felt, rhe 
school has never been over-enthusiastic on athle- 
tics and physical training and wiU not be so in 
the future, but telt the need of a Gymnasium 
where proper physical training could be given. 
This need has now been filled by the erection 
during the summer of 1908 of an Auditorium- 
Gymnasium. This building stands 80 feet, with 
a basement of ten feet and a main floor with 
twenty-foot posts. 

The basement wall is monolithic and the rest 
is solid brick. The basement will be fitted with 
furnace, baths, lockers and a laboratory, with a 
straight track for running and jumping. The 
main floor will be seated with movable chairs 
which can be removed and the room used for phy- 
sical exercises. It is capable of seating 700 peo- 
ple, while above is a gallery on three sides that 
will seat 300 more. 

The money for these buildings, as well as for 
a librar.v, has been raised by subscription, it 
being the aim of the Trustees to keep down ex- 
penses, so that even those of limited means may 
find here a school home. Originally $5000 was 
invested in books, and each year substantial ad- 
ditions are made, so that studeiits and teachers 
find a good working library at hand, while there 
are four well furnished laboratories. 

The present endowment is .$20,000, but substan- 
tial additions are being made. There are seven 
scholarships for worthy students and, at the cloaa 
of the last year, $155.00 was distributed in prizes, 
ot which Elder D. L. Miller contributed $25 and 
Col. Frank O. Lowden $100. For a number of 
years President Royer was the chief agent in 
raising funds, and the two heaviest donors have 
been Mr. John Lahman, of Franklin Grove, and 
Elder D. L. Miller of Mount Morris, but besides 
these there have been other liberal contributors. 

At present the school is owned by the Church 
of the Brethren of the Northern District of Illi- 
nois and Wisconsin, but it is arranged that at 
any time the general church wishes to assume 
control she may have the property without any 
expense. By a ^-ise arrangement it is managed 
so that no debt can be contracted. On the reslg- 




nation of President Royer in 1904, he was suc- 
ceeded by J. Ezra Miller, who is still in charge. 
The courses of instruction include Liberal Arts, 
Academy, Teachers', Agricultural, Bible, Music 
and Elocution. 

The present Board of Trustees consists of D. 
L. Miller, President ; Clarence Lahman, Secre- 
tary-Treasurer ; John Hieliman, Davis Rowland 
and William Lampon, and the faculty of fifteen 
instructors, of whom six (including President 
Miller) constitute the Board of Managers. The 
number of pupils in attendance ia recent years 
amounts to an average of about 250. 

Sketch of the Brethren (Dunker) Church. 
— The German word "Tunken" (to dip) from 
which came the term "Tunker" — and later "Dun- 
ker" — was first applied to the Brethren in Switz- 
erland soon after one of their number, Wolf- 
gang Uhlman, was burned at the stake in the 
Tyrol, Austria-Hungary, in 1528. It was given 
as a nickname and grew out of their form of 
baptism. The Brethren always protested against 
the name, claiming to be Brethren in Christ. 

When in the early years of the eighteenth 
century, the mother church was heartlesslj' and 
ruthlessly driven from the "Vaterland," by per- 
secution, which took not only the form of im- 
prisonment and confiscation of property, but also 
of martyrdom at the stake, the Brethren settled 
on land secured from William Penn at German- 
town, Pennsylvania. They then numbered bare- 
ly 200 souls, but were earnest, honest, pious, 
spiritually-minded men and women, who sought 
the religious liberty which had been denied them 
in Germany. In the New World they found fSie 
boon for which they sought, and under divine 
guidance, builded better than they knew. 

At Germantown, in 172.3, the Brethren organ- 
ized their first church in America, and began 
colonizing in different parts of Pennsylvania, but 
soon passed into New Jersey, Maryland and Vir- 
ginia, and 'before many years, small colonies of 
these people were to be found in a number of 
localities in these different divisions of new 

The time is easily within the memory of those 
living today, when the start was made from the 
old home in the East, in the first half of the last 
century, for the new Illinois country. In those 
days Chicago had reached the dignity of a re- 
spectable trading post without a dream of the 
future greatness in store for the "Queen of the 

Lakes." The hardy pioneers sold most of their 
belongings, but the "prairie schooni.-rs," as the 
large covered wagons, drawn by four and six- 
horse teams, were called, were packed to the full 
with household goods and farming utensils. 
Spring wagons, c(5vered with canvas and oil- 
cloth, afforded comfortable passage for the wo- 
men and children. Usually a number of colo- 
nists started together, forming a great caravan, 
moving slowly toward the setting sun. They 
camped by the wayside at night, cooked and ate 
their frugal meals, and each camping place be- 
came, for the time being, a Bethel where the 
Scriptures were read by the fathers, and God's 
blessings invoked on the pilgrims and on those 
at the old home from whom they had so re- 
cently parted in tears. 

Washington County, Maryland, sent the pio- 
neer Brethren to the "Rock River," or "Mary- 
land Settlement," as it was called at the first. 
Among the first, with some others, to come in 
1836-38, were Samuel M. Hitt, whose wife Bar- 
bara, was a member of the Brethren church, 
John Frledly, who purchased the Governor 
Ford cabin and claim for one thousand dollars, 
Daniel Wolf, Solomon Nalley. Early in the 
'forties came Benjamin Swingley, William Young, 
Daniel, Samuel, Jacob and John Price, Jacob 
Buck, Isaac Hershey, Daniel Zellers, Daniel 
Moats, Daniel Long, John Stover and Jacob 
Long. Nearly all of these were heads of fam- 
ilies and brought their children with them. They 
settled in the vicinities of Mount Morris, Mary- 
land and what is now known as the Pine Creek 

In 1845-47 several families of the Brethren 
located at Franklin Grove, Lee Countj-, Illinois. 
Prominent among these were Joseph Enimert, 
Christian Lahman, Daniel and Joshua Wingert, 
Levi Riddlesparger, Levi Trostle, the Dierdorfs 
and others. In 1845 they organized the Rock 
River Church with a membership of thirteen. 
The newly organized church embraced all the 
territory in Lee and Ogle Counties. Joseph Em- 
mert was chosen as Bishop and the little band 
prospered and- grew. The Rock River Church 
now numbers over 250 and has sent out hun- 
dreds of members to help populate the great 
West. Bishop Emmert at once started the pro- 
ject of building a house of worship. Solicitors 
were apiwinted, an effort to raise the money was 
made and $140 secured. When the solicitors re- 
ported to the Bishop he said, "Give me the sub- 



scription paper." It was handed to him and 
putting it into his pocket said, "The house shall 
be built." He at once let the contract for the 
building and when it was completed at a cost of 
$700, promptly paid the bill, iluch of the labor 
for the building was donated. The house has 
always been known as the "Emmert Meeting 
House." It is located four miles west of Frank- 
lin Grove. In 1868 the National Annual Con- 
ference of the Brethren church was held at the 
"Emmert Meeting House." 

In 1846 the Brethren in Ogle County deter- 
mined to organize a church and erect a house 
of worship. Jacob Long was Bishop in charge 
and the meeting house was built near what Is 
now known as Maryland station. Samuel Gax- 
ber succeeded Jacob Long in the bishopric. He 
was accustomed to visit the Brethren churches 
in Tennessee, and on one of these visits spoke in 
a guarded manner against human slavery. He 
was arrested, thrown into prLson and heavily 
fined for thus attacking what was then held to 
be a divine institution in the South. The Breth- 
ren of Ogle and Lee helped pay the fine. Fi'om 
their first organization in America the Brethren 
opposed every form of slavery and no slave own- 
er could 'be recognized as a member of the de- 
nomination without manumitting his slaves. 

In 1857 the Pine Creek Church was organized 
followed in 1808 by Silver Creek, Mount Jlorris, 
and, in 1005, by the church in Polo. At the 
present time the five organizations named have 
the following membership : Rock River, 260 ; 
West Branch, 100 ; Pine Creek, 125 ; Mount Mor- 
ris, 3.50; Polo, 70, making a total of 905. 

Of course these figures do not include all those 
received into church fellowship. Several thou- 
sand have gone out to swell the number who 
have taken an active and prominent part in 
settling the territory west of the Mississippi 
River. If a reunion of all these could be held 
in Ogle County r.ow, there would be a great mul- 
titude assembled to recount their struggles, tem- 
porarily and spiritually, in building up the West- 
ern Empire. 

The Brethren Publishing House. — In 1880 
M. M. Eshleman, who had been publishing "The 
Brethren at Work," a religious paper of the 
Dunker denomination at Lanark, Illinois, moved 
the plant to Mount Morris. This, in 1884, was 
purchased by Elders D. L. Miller and Joseph 
Amick, of that denomination, who consolidated 
it with "The Primitive Christian," of Hunting- 

don, Pa., and changed the name to the "Gospel 
Messenger." A large and thriving business was 
established, and a number of church papers, 
books and tracts were published. In 1896 the 
business was taken over by the Brethren Church 
and it has since been known as the Brethren 
Publishing House. In September, 1899, the plant 
was moved to Elgin, Illinois. At that time the 
circulation of the "Gosipel Messenger" was about 
tn-enty thousand, and the sum of the year's busi- 
ness approximated $125,000. Among those con- 
nected with the success of the work in Mount 
Morris were Galen B. Royer, Elder J. H. Moore, 
Elder D. L. Miller, Elder Joseph Amick, L. A. 
Plate, S. M. Eshleman. A prosperous business 
has continued to be carried on by the Publish- 
ing House in its present location. 

The Old People's Home. — The Old People's 
Home of the Brethren Church is supported by 
the District of Northern Illinois. Elders Joseph 
Amick. Edmund Forney and Melchior Newcomer 
were appointed by this division of the church, 
a committee to incorporate and found a liome 
for aged members of the church and orphans. 
Mount Morris was selected for the location of 
this home, and a tract of land containing about 
thirteen acres, in the southwestern part of the 
village, was purchased for this purpose. Upon 
this ground a brick building was at once erected 
at a cost of $10,000, to which an addition has since 
been built costing $1,500. The funds for the in- 
stitution were donated by the different churches 
in the district. An endowment fund for its 
maintenance was created by Jacob Petrie, of 
Polo, who bequeathed his estate to the Church 
for this purixjse. Other bequests and sums have 
been added to this original amount of $18,000, 
till at the present time the endowment fund 
amounts to $22,900, and the addition of a valua- 
ble farm of 250 acres near Pontiac, 111., recently 
bequeathed for this purpose. The building is so 
arranged that about thirty people can be com- 
fortably taken care of in the home. Ornamental 
trees and shrubs have been planted around the 
dwelling, flowers are cultivated during the grow- 
ing time of the year, and the land has been set 
out largely with fruit-bearing trees and small 
fruits, making a very attractive and restful place 
in which to spend the declining years of life. 
Mr. Levi Kerns first had charge of this institu- 
tion, and was succeeded by the present Superin- 
tendent, Jlr, Lewis Miller. 










The following record of Crimiual History in 
Ogle Countir is taken from a let-ture on that sub- 
ject, delivered liefore the Oregon Woman's Coun- 
cil during the wniter of 1904-05 by Major Franc 
Bacon, au attorney of the city of Oregon. On ac- 
count of lack of sixice, it has been found neces- 
sar.v to condense some ix>rtions of llr. Bacon's 
address ; 

For the first .vear or two after the establish- 
ment of Ogle County, it had a floating seat of 
justice, and court was held in Dixon and in 

■In ]S40 the first jail was completed, by Joseph 
Knox, at a cost of $1,822.50 — a small structure, 
standing a little west of the present court house. 
There were no doors or windows in the jail 
proper. The criminal, upon being arrested and 
brought to prison, was taken upstairs, a trap- 
door In the ceiling or roof of the jail proper was 
raised, a short ladder 10 or 12 feet in length was 
lowered through this, and down it the ot3:ender 
backed into his cell, when the ladder was re- 
moved, the trap-door lowered, and the jailer de- 
parted feeling that his bird was secure. The 
walls were supposed to be of stone three feet in 
thickness, yet so faulty in construction, that his- 
tory says that one prisoner, with the aid of an 
old jack-knife, dug his way to liberty in the short 
space of three hours. This jail was used until 
the brick one, which stood south of the present 
Temple of Justice, was erected in lSi6. This 

second jail was used until 1ST4, when the present 
building was erected at a c-ost of $20,000. 

The first court house built in Ogle County was 
completed in IS-IO, at a cost of .$4,000, but was 
burned on the evening before the opening of any 
court therein, presumably to either destroy the 
indictments on file against certain members of 
the banditti, or to afford an opportunity for the 
escape of some of the clan who were then con- 
fined iu jail. Whatever the purpose, it failed, as 
neither were the indictments burned nor pris- 
oners released. 

The first term of Circuit Court of Ogle Countj- 
was held at Dixon in October, 1837. and was i>re- 
sided over by Judge Dan Stone, who had but 
shortly before been appointed a Circuit Judge, 
and a.ssigned to duty iu the northern part of 
Illinois. At the time of his appointment, he was a 
member of the Legislature from Sangamon Coun- 
ty. In 1S;;8 Judge Stone made a decision con- 
cerning an alien's right to vote which was dis- 
tasteful to his party, and very shortly afterward, 
uiwn the reorganization of our courts, he was 
legislated out of office. "Father" John Dixon was 
the foreman of this first Grand Jury, which body 
returned seven true bills of indictment, among 
the number being one against the then Sheriff, 
W. W. Mudd. for a palpable omission of duty, 
also another against Xelson Shortall, for a like 

The records show that the first criminal trial 
in our circuit courts was that of Shortall. at the 
May term, 1S3S, when he was acquitted. Major 
Chamberlain. John Roe. William M. Mason and 
Jonathan W. Jenkins, were members of the trial 
jury on that occasion. At the same term there 
were two other acquittals, no convictions, and 
one indictment dismissed, and a little later the 
one against Mudd was also stricken from the 
docket, thus disposing, without a single convic- 
tion, of all the indictments found by this first 
(iraud Jury. The first conviction secured was 
in June, 18.39, when John Porter was found 
guilty of counterfeiting, and given two years in 
the penitentiary. At this same term was found 
the first true bill of indictment for a violation 
of the dueling act. This was against one Bar- 
clay, but he was never brought to trial. At the 
September term, 1839, the Prosecuting Attorney 
for this Circuit failing to appear, the Court ap- 
ix)inted another member of the bar as Prosecut- 
ing Attorney pro-tem. It seems he was there for 
a purpose, for on his motion practically all the 



indictments theretofore found, upon wUic-h tliere 
had been no trial, were striclien off. At the June 
term, 1840, the first indictments for selling liquor 
without license were returned, and from that date 
to the present, this form of violation of the public 
laws has been more or less frequent, and a notice- 
able feature of the Grand Juries" work. We have 
experienced frequent crusades, and there have 
been times when the entire attention of our Cir- 
cuit Court has been taken up with liquor cases. 
The largest number on the docket at any one 
time seems to have been in 1874, when out of 94 
criminal eases on the docket, 43 were for viola- 
tion of the dram shop Act, of which the venue 
in eleven cases was changed to Lee Countj". 

Also at the October term, 1874, were returned 
two indictments for murder, growing directly out 
of, and in fact committed in places where in- 
toxicants had been illegally sold. The first was 
against Edward O'Brien, who was charged with 
killing McCoy. The scene of the murder was 
near Polo. O'Brien was convicted, and being 
under eighteen years of age, could not lawfully 
be confined in the penitentiary, and at that time 
there being no institutions known as reform 
schools, the prisoner was, by order of the court, 
committed to the county jail for one year. The 
other murder case at that October term was the 
one against Koefer, a saloon keeper at Crestou. 
There never was any real merit in this case, and 
the jury rightfully acquitted him. The first 
term of court held in our present court build- 
ing was that of August, 1891, when the entire 
term was given over to the business of indict- 
ing and trying offenders for violations of the 
liquor law. So strenuous was the work that we 
had all three of the Circuit Judges then upon the 
bench here holding court and hearing the num- 
erous cases. 

At that August term, 1801, every male per- 
son who had been In Oregon after May 1st and 
up to the beginning of court, was invited to come 
in and interview the grand and trial juries, but 
there was. such an astonishing amount of absent- 
mindedness, and such woeful failure of the sense 
of taste to perform its customary work, that it 
was the exception, and not the rule, when one 
was able to draw the line between beer and 
coffee, or tea and whisky. 

One of the first criminal charges made against 
a woman in our courts was for violation of the 
dram-shop act. and the last conviction against 
a woman was at the last term of court (1904-0.")) 

on a similar charge. An inspection of the crim- 
inal records of our courts has disclosed but few 
charges of a criminal nature against the fair sex. 
To return to the June term, 1840, I notice that 
in one of the liquor cases, the court quashed 
the indictment, and in the other, the jury, com- 
liosed in part of well-known men, such as Ruel 
I'eabody, William Carpenter, and W. A. House, 
acquitted the defendant. In speaking of this 
class of offenders, I am reminded that on one 
occasion a keen, brilliant and polished member 
of the bar, in defending "Peggy" Wertz for sell- 
ing intoxicants illegally, took occasion to read 
to the jury jwrtions of the Bible, and it is said 
found authority therein to justify his client's 
acts. Probably this was the only occasion in 
history, however, where this law book was read 
to a jury in a whisky case. But this member of 
the bar displayed more familiarity with the 
Good Book than another of our local bar, who, 
in making an im]jassioned iilea in the Philip Tice 
arson case said : "Geutlemeu of the jury, my 
client is just as innocent of this crime as the 
infant Jesus in the bull-rushes." 

In 1841, the criminal class of this county had 
perfected an organization extending not only 
throughout all iwrtions of the c-ounty, but also 
in the neighboring counties of Lee, Whiteside 
and Winnebago, and into adjoining States and 
.Territories. It had its passwords, grips and 
signs of recognition, and its membership was 
closely banded together for the common purpose 
of plunder and rapine. It was so strong as to 
set at defiance public justice, and was able to 
and did control trial juries and public oflicials. 
To meet this organization of the lawless, the 
law-abiding citizens of our county met organiza- 
tion by organization, and as a result, throughout 
our county wc-re organized societies known by 
\-arious names. For instance, at Inlet, then part 
of Ogle County, there was formed "An Associa- 
tion for the Furtherance of the Cause of Jus- 
tice." It had a cast-iron constitution and, among 
other things, provision was made for a com- 
mittee of Vigilants. Another organization was 
that which had its headquarters about White 
Rock, where a Mr. Long was elected Captain, 
in 1841. Shortly after his election his mill was 
burned, and this seemed to intimidate him so 
that he resigned and was succeeded by John 
('anqiliell, XTiis organization was at that time 
((ini|i(>sed of only fifteen men, and their first 
Imsiiiess in dealing with the criminal 


to serve notice on several of the undesirable 
citizens of the oounty to depart at once, with 
the admonition that if they failed to heed this 
request, the lash would be used. Their first 
victim was a man named Hurl, and history says, 
after taking the whipping administered, lie at 
once .ioined the organization and, after that, his 
life was one of irreproachable honesty. The or- 
ganization rapidly grew until its memberehip 
embraced practically all of the honest, law-abid- 
ing citizens of the county. 

The Dmscoll Tbageuy. — Among the number 
notified by the committee to leave the county, 
was a family of the name of Driscoll, then re- 
siding in the eastern part of the county. Shortly 
after they were so notified, and in fact after 
they had promised to leave the c-ounty, the out- 
law element met at the home of William K. 
Bridge, then living near Washington Grove. The 
house of this meeting was a log affair, and was 
near the frame house now on the public road, 
being the first house on the right-hand side after 
passing the residence of James Cummings going 
toward the Grove. At this meeting of the out- 
laws, it is claimed that the death of Captain 
Campbell was planned, and David and Taylor 
Driscoll were selected to perform the murder. 
On Sunday, June 27, 1841, Taylor and David 
Driscoll went to Campbell's house at White Rock 
Grove, secreting themselves in some hazel brush, 
and when Campbell appeared at the door, he was. 
shot to death. The Driscolls were recognized by 
Campbell, and also by his wife, the former living 
long enough to walk several paces befoi-e he fell 
dead. His son, Martin Campbell, who died in 
Ogle County a few years since, also saw the 
Driscolls, and but for a failure of his shot-gun to 
explode the caps, it is likely that one or both of 
the murderers would have paid the penalty of 
the crime then and there. That Sunday night 
messengers were dispatched to various parts of 
the county, and the Regulators were called to- 
gether. John Driscoll, father of the murderers, 
and two sons were first taken in custody, the 
connecting link showing the old man's participa- 
tion in this murder being furnished by the track 
of his horse, by some peculiarity of the shoe, thus 
enabling the searchei-s to follow it from Camp- 
bell's to DriseoU's house. Sheriff Ward first had 
custody of John Driscoll. and he was taken to 
the jail at Oregon. Three of the Regulators 
gained possession of John Driscoll, and he was 
taken by them on Tuesday, the 29th, to Steven- 

son's Mill, which was located on property now 
owned by F. R. Artz. At Stevenson's Mill the 
other Regulators brought down William and 
Pierce Driscoll. when the entire party moved 
across the road to a large oak tree, where the 
trial and executions were had. This place was 
about ten rods east of the present residence of 
Harry Wilson, and about five rods north of the 
present course of the public road. A court was 
organized and a jury of 120 persons was sug- 
gested. Counsel was appointed for the prisoners, 
as well as for the prosecution, and a presiding 
officer chosen. As a result of challenges, nine 
of the 120 proix)sed jurymen were struck off, and 
a jury composed of 111 persons entered upon the 
trial of this famous case, which consumed the 
greater iwrtion of the day. During the trial, it 
is said, both John and William Driscoll made 
damaging statements showing complicity in other 
crimes. The verdict of this, the largest jury 
known in the criminal history of the world, was 
"guilty" as to John and William Driscoll, and 
"not guilty" as to Pierce Driscoll, and the sen- 
tence of the court was that the two guilty should 
be hanged, but afterward on their request it 
was changed to death by shooting. Fifty-six men 
were detailed by this jur.v to execute one de- 
fendant, and fifty-five the other, one gun placed 
in the hands of each of the two sets of execu- 
tioners, it is said, not being loaded. The guns 
were handled by the committee and passed out 
to the executioners, so that no one might know 
who held the empty pieces. This afforded an 
opportunit.v for each and every one of them to 
feel and believe that it was not his rifie that 
contributed to the death of either of the victims. 
Afterward, at the September term. ISil. of our 
Circuit Court, presided over by Judge Thomas 
Ford, then an Associate Justice of the Supreme 
Court of the State, a Grand Jury was empan- 
elled, evidence heard, and two indictments re- 
turned against 112 persons, one charging the 
murder of William Driscoll, and the other of 
John Driscoll. Part of the men indicted were 
members of this Grand Jury, and in a way con- 
tributed to present true bills of indictment 
against themselves. It is apparent, however, 
from an inspection of the record, that it was the 
desire of the Regulators to have indictments re- 
turned, so that there could be a trial and ac- 
quittal of those accused when the surroundings 
were favorable to that end. It is said that, as 
a matter of fact, Jonathan W. Jenkins, the per- 




sou first named iu each of these iudietments. had 
nothing to do with the execution of the Driscolls. 
L)ut was regarded as friendly to them, and it 
was feared that perhaps he might furnish some 
damaging evidence. Under the law, as it then 
existed, a person indicted for a crime could not 
testify, and his mouth was closed by the return- 
ing of this indictment against him. 

The Indictments, framed in the peculiar phrase- 
ology of the time, were returned on Friday, Sep- 
tember '2-i, 1S41. and on the same day all but ten 
of the defendants were placed upon trial. Under 
the law then existing, each of the defendants 
had a right to The peremptory challenge of twen- 
ty men, and this would have disix)sed of 2,010 
jurors, a much large number of men than there 
were then iu the county ; but, as I take it, no 
challenges were used by the defense. When the 
first case was called, an attorney named Knowl- 
ton asked leave to assist the People in the prose- 
cution of the case, but his request was denied, at 
the suggestion of the Prosecuting Attorney. It 
is said that the jury did not leave their seats 
before returning a verdict of not guilty. The 
same jurors were then acceirted upon the trial 
of the other indictment, and the same verdict 
was rendered. On the following day, tlie State's 
Attorney. Seth Farwell. dismissed the indict- 
ments as to Jonathan W. .Jenkins. Seth W. Hills, 
George D. Johnson. Commodore Bridge, Moses 
Nettleton, William Keyes, Wilson Dailey. Abel 
Smith. Jefferson Jewell and James Harpen. the 
ten who did not receive the t>enefit of an ac- 
quittal. Thus was ended a criminal litigation 
that was not only remarkable for the number of 
the accused, but unique iu the finding of the 
indictments-^the personnel of the Grand Jury 
composed of some of the accused : the speedy re- 
turn of the true bills and instant arraignmeut ; 
the vast number of challenges allowed by the 
law and the significant use of none : the fact 
that the same jurors were accepted iu the trial 
of the second indictment, to try a case upon the 
same facts as the one they had just heard, and 
having heard it, must have naturally fomied and 
expressed an opinion of the merits of the case, 
.^•et were taken on the second case, when ordi- 
narily this question would have been asked, the 
sealing of the mouth of one dangerous party by 
making him a co-defendant, then not putting him 
on trial with the others ; the rendition of the 
speedy verdict given on those occasions, and, 
above all, that all things done and said seemed 

to have met the approval, not only of the court, 
but of all law-abiding people. 

We have often heard it said, that the scene 
of a murder has .some fascinating drawing power 
which impels a murderer to return, even at the 
peril of his life and liberty, to the scene of his 
crime. However that may be, it is time that 
Taylor Driscoll, who either fired the fatal shot at 
Campbell or was with Dave wlien he did, after 
making his escape at the time the Regulators' 
were after him, and after remaining away for 
some years, again returned to the county, when 
he was at once arrested. He secured a change 
of \-enue to McHenry County, where the first 
jury disagreed, and on the second trial, by aid, 
as is claimed of friendly members of the old con- 
federacy upon the jury, he was acquitted. This 
miscarriage of justice iu the case of this mur- 
derer only more fully justifies the acts of the 
one hundred and eleven so-called jurors in in- 
voking the aid of a court where it was impossible 
to get confederates upon the jury. 

Judge Ford, the presiding Judge at the hear- 
ing of the lynchers cases in 1841, was then a 
resident of Oregon, and afterwards was elected 
Governor of the State. It is said of him that 
he publicly from the bench admonished the ban- 
ditti that he was about to leave his home, and 
that, if they dared to disturb his family or prop- 
erty-, he would gather a posse and take summary 
measures against them. It Is also said of him 
that, during the time when so many guilty men 
were escaping by verdicts of acquittal, a lawyer 
defending on a criminal charge when speaking of 
the policy of the law, that it was better that 
ninety and nine guilty men escape than that one 
innocent man be convicted. Judge Ford took a shot 
at him l\v remarking : "That is the maxim of 
the law all right, but the trouble here is that 
the ninety-nine guilty have already escaped." 

Story of a Witness of the Event. — The fol- 
lowing account of this tragical event as related 
by Mr. Michael Seyster, has been furnished b,v 
his son. Attorney J. C. Seyster. for this work : 

"I was sixteen years old when the Driscolls 
were executed. I was sent to Oregon on an 
errand ; the Regulators wanted a horse and took 
mine. I went with them to look after my horse 
and to bring it hack. We went to the west bank 
of, the river where there was a number of the 
Reiulators who had in their custody John Dris- 
coll. Oni' horse-, for some reason, had been taken 
from their wagon and mine was put in its place. 



I got in the wagon preparatory to starting across 
the river to Daysville, when the Sheriff came on 
a run, hatless and toatless, and seized Driscoll, 
declaring that he was his prisoner and iu his 
custody, and he intended to keep him. He tooli 
him from tlie wagon and started bacli mth him. 
The suddenness with which this was done, 
seemed to have dazed those who had Driscoll in 
charge. It appeared that they had no leader, 
and, for a few moments, nothing was done ; when 
John Plielps sprang from the wagon and ex- 
claimed. 'If we are going to be men, let us act 
like men, and .'lot like a lot of boys,' and started 
for the Sheriff. He was followed by the othei-s, 
and they took Driscoll from the Sheriff, who 
said he had done his duty. 

"Driscoll was then put in the wagon, and w« 
crossed the river on the ferry, and went to Days- 
ville. where there were many more of the Regu- 
lators with William and Pierce Driscoll. They 
all went from there to Washington Grove, where 
the trial took place. Evidence was introduced 
and a vote taken by the Regulators, and John 
and William Driscoll were eondeunied to death. 
They were given time to prepare for death. John 
was sullen and unrepentant, but William spent 
the time from his sentence to his death in 
prayer. One-half of those having guns were 
drawn up iu line, and John Driscoll first led out 
and blindfolded and lilaced on his knees to be 
executed. I did not want to see it and retired, 
with some others to a ravine out of sight. \Vhen 
the guns were discharged we returned and found 
that they had only executed the father, who had 
fallen forward on his face and was still breath- 
ing faintly; they were leading William out to be 
shot. We had not time to retire, but witnessed 
his execution. He was blindfolded and placed 
on his knees, and shot by the other half of the 
Regulators, and died instantly. The victims lay 
on their faces as they fell forwards, and a num- 
ber of places showed on their backs where the 
bullets bad gone through. Graves were then dug 
where they had fallen, and they were hastily 

"One item of evidence I remember against the 
father was that on the night Campbell (Captain 
of the Regulators) w-as shot, h^, ^he elder Dris- 
coll, went to a neighbor's and asked permission 
to stay all night with him, saying that something 
might happen that night and he wanted 
with an honest man, so he could prove himself 
innocent. The item of evidence I remember 

against William was, that after the Regulators 
were organized he was heard to say that they 
would have to do as they had done at another 
place, where he had lived when a similar organi- 
zation was formed. They killed tlieir Captain, 
which was the end of them. It was a pathetic 
and affecting scene, some were opposed to exe- 
cution. Many strong men wept like children. 

"It was said that William, in his prayers, con- 
fessed that his hands had been stained by the 
blood of six men. It was generally thought that 
a mistake had been made in executing the father 
first ; that he did not think they would take his 
life, but were trying to intimidate him into mak- 
ing a confession. If the son had been first put 
to death, he then would have known that the 
men were in earnest, and he would have con- 
fessed. The son was wild with despair and 
terror at the sight of his father's execution, and 
pleaded and begged for mercy when taken to be 

"The son Pierce was warned to leave the coun- 
try, which he promised to do. He said that his 
brother should not have been executed as he was 
as he had been brought up, but had nothing to 
say as to the justice of his father's punishment." 
The story of "The Prairie Bandits," as they 
were widely known, has furnished the basis of 
much literature in the newspaper press and other- 
wise, including a volume under the title, "The 
Banditti of the Prairies : or The Jlurderere' 
Doom," which had a wide circulation among 
pioneer families. 

Continuing, Mr. Bacon closes his history of the 
"Prairie Bandit" incident as follows : 

It is not often that we can approve of lynch 
law. but the circumstances then existing de- 
manded a resort to this law. and the results fol- 
lowing were all for the best interests of society. 
It virtually was the beginning of the end of the 
reign of lawlessness in Ogle County. 

Another Lynching Case, — The only other 
ease of lynching in Ogle Count}- was that of 
Burke at Rochelle. He was being tried on a 
charge of arson before a Justice of the Peace, 
when it was suggested that he was a rebel sym- 
pathizer, and was guilty of committing the dif- 
ferent acts of incendiarism charged for the pur- 
Iiose of aiding the South, and, thereupon, some 
of the hot-headed members of that community 
placed a noose about his neck and hanged him 
from a window of the court room. Several prom- 
inent citizens of that locality were indicted at 



the June term of court iu 1S02, and a trial had 
at the same term, resulting in an acquittal. It 
was this incident that led to the change of the 
name of the village of Lane to Rochelle. 

The only occasion in late j-ears when any cou- 
siderahle number of men have set the i)eace 
officers of the county at defiance was in April, 
1881. The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Rail- 
way Company started out to seize or take forci- 
bly from the Chicago & Iowa (now a part of the 
Chicago & Northwestern) the line of road from 
Rochelle to Rockford. It gathered up about 1.00(t 
thugs, moved them out to Davis Junction, and 
there began the struggle for the road in ques- 
tion. The Milwaukee people claimed the legal 
right to the road, based on some proceedings had 
before Judge Brown of this circuit, while the 
Chicago & Iowa was acting in conformity with 
the orders issued by Judge Eustace, also one of 
our Circuit Judges. After several days of tur- 
moil, the matter was settled by calling in the 
third Judge of our Court. Judge Bailey, and his 
decision, sustaining Judge Eustace, was accepted 
by all iiaiiics. Several of the Milwaukee officials 
were indicted here for riot, and a mild fine was 
imposed iu (lue or two cases. One of the leaders 
of that gathering was Edward Walker, an emi- 
nent attorney of Chicago, and the same one who 
was selected by the United States Attorney -Gen- 
eral as special counsel to aid the District Attor- 
ney during the great railroad riot of 1804. at 
whicli time the aid of the Federal Courts was 
invoked, and writs of in.iunction issued to sup- 
press the rioting, from which sprang the cam- 
paign charge of conducting government by in- 

The criminal histoo' of the county shows liut 
few occasions when the pulilic has suffered by 
defalcations of public officials or banks. Na- 
tional, State or private, there being upon the 
records of our county indictments against only 
one hanker and against one public official, a 
School Treasurer, and iu neither case was there 
any trial, but as we understand it, the losses 
wore made good and the cases dismissed. We 
have had the usual number of minor felonies and 
misdemeanors, ranging in numbers less than in 
our sister counties. It has been said that crime 
is more prevalent when a country is practically 
new. but the facts and figures show this to be a 
false assertion. It is said that at present there 
are four and one-half times as many murders 

and homicides for each million in the United 
States, as there were in 1881. This county has 
had few felonious homicides. The court records 
show liut thirteen indictments for murder, of 
which we have noticed the case of the two Dris- 
colls, the Burlve, O'Brien and Koefer cases, in 
only one of which was there a conviction. In 
the Dildiue case there was no arrest made, and 
in the Livingston case the defendant, after a mis- 
trial, was permitted to enlist in the army, and 
the case was dropped. In the Slater and Paul 
cases, verdicts of acquittal were rendered. In 
that of John and Menno Arends, and in the one 
against John Temple, verdicts of guilty were 
rendered and penitentiary sentences imposed. 

It is claimed by some that the reservoir hill 
near our city received its name of Liberty Hill, 
because Judge Ford ad.1ourned the court at the 
time of the trial of the , Regulators from the 
house where that September term of 1841 was 
being held, the site of which was between the 
old Catholic church and the old red building 
called "the skating rink," to the hill in question, 
and at that place received the verdict of acquittal 
and there restored to liberty the 102 then on 
trial. I have failed, liowever, to substantiate 
this and must regard it as pleasant fiction. 

I am rather of the opinion that it got its name 
from another criminal ease in oiu- courts, when 
a prisoner being without counsel or means to 
employ one, the court performed its duty by 
aiiiiointiiig an attorney to defend. This attorney 
requested the privilege of consulting his client 
and taking him to an ad.i'oiuing room, it is said, 
pointed out this eminence, remarking, on top of 
tliat hill you will find lil)crty. and he legged out 

A candid review and inspection of the history 
of Ogle County will develop nothing to bring a 
blush of shame, a word of apology or aught of 
condemnation, when taken and considered as a 

The records are open to the world, the acts of 
the departed pioneers who made the most of the 
stern history of the county, when weighed in the 
light of the circumstances surrounding the men, 
is to be commended: there is little to censure, 
but little to gloss over, and much, indeed, that 
ought to be gratefully remembered by their sons 
and daughters, and later comers into this garden 
spot of the world, which they won from the 
dominion of the Prairie Banditti. 







At tbe general election held in Ogle Count}-, in 
November, 1849, the citizens deeicled in favor of 
the adoption of the system of township organi- 
zation, authorized by Act of tbe General Assembly 
of the same year in accordance with the Consti- 
tution of 184S. At the same election a County 
Judge and tvi'o Associate Judges vreve elected and 
continued in office until the election of the first 
Board of Township Suiiervisors. Previous to 
1849 county affairs had been under control of a 
Board of County Commissioners, and at the last 
meeting of this Board held in 1.^0, Messrs. Will- 
iam Warasley, Henry Hill and Daniel Piuekney 
were appointed a committee to divide the County 
in Townships, and in accordance with their re- 
port made to tbe County Board, on February 5. 
1850, twenty townships were created with area 
as follows : 

Monroe— Comprising all of T, 42 N., R. 2 E. 
Third P. M. 

Scott— All of T. 42 X., R. 1 E. Third P. M. 

White Rock— All of T. 41 X.. R. 1 E. Third 
P. M. 

Lynnvillt-— All of T, 41 X., R. 2 E. Third P. M. 

Flagg — .\1I of Towns 40 N.. R. 1 and 2 E. Third 
P. M. 

Lafayette— Xorth % of T. 22 X".. R. 11 E. 
Fourth P. M. 

Eagle— All of T. 2.3 N., R. 11 E. Fourth P. M. 

Taylor— All portions T. 22 N., R. 9 E, Fourth 
P. M., in Ogle County, comprising nearly north 
half of governmental township. 

Nashua— The part of T. 23 N., R. 10 E. Fourth 
P. M., on east side of line drawn along middle 
of Rock River, and all south of line running east 
and west through middle of sections 10, 11 and 12. 

same township (23-10) ; also Islands Xo. 7. 8 and 
10 in Rock River. 

Oregon— The part of T. 23 X., R. 10 E. Fourth 
P. M., on west side of Rock River, and the part 
of same township on east side of Rock River and 
north of half-section line running east and west 
through sections 10. 11 and 12 of same town- 
ship ; also islands in Rock River within boun- 
daries of same congressional township not placed 
within Nashua Township. 

Brooklyn- All of T. 24 X., R. 10 E. Fourth 
P, M. 

Marion— All of T. 24 N., R. 11 E. B^ourtb P. M. 
and part of T. 2.5 X., R. 11 E. Fourth P. M. lying 
south of Rock River. 

Byron— All of T. 25 X., R. 11 E. Fourth P. M., 
which lies north and west of Rock River, and all 
of east half of T. 2.5 X.. R. 10 E. Fourth P. M. 

Grand de Tour— All of that portion of T. 22 
X.. R. 9 and 10 E. Fourth P, M. in Ogle County 
and west of middle of Rock River — amounting 
to about one-third of a congressional township. 

Pine Creek— All of T. 23 X„ R. 9 E. Fourth 
P. M. 

Mt. Morris— All of T. 24 X., R. 9 E. Fourth 1". 
if., and east half of T. 24 X., R. S E. Fourth P. 

Leaf River— West half of T. 25 X.. R. 10 E., 
and east half of T. 25 X., R. 9 E. Fom-th P. M. 

Harrison— West half of T. 25 X., R. 9 E., and 
east half of T. 25 X'., R. 8 E., Fourth P. M. 

Brookville— West half of T. 24, and west half 
of T. 25 X.. R. 8 E. Fourth P. M.. and all of 
fractional Towns 24 and 25 N.. R. 7 E. Fourth 
P. M. 

Buffalo— All of T. 23 N., R. 8 E. and fractional 
Towns 22 X., R. 8 E., and 23 X., R. 7 E. Fourth 
P. M. lying in Ogle County. 

The first Board of Supervisors for tbe several 
townships in Ogle County, chosen at the election 
in April, 18.50, was as follows: Oregon — J. B. 
Cheney; Buffalo — Zenas Applington ; Brookville 
—David Hoffman ; Pine Creek— Spooner Bug- 
gies ; Mt. Morris — James B. McCoy; Brooklyn — 
X. W. Wadsworth ; Harrison— Samuel Mitchell ; 
Leaf River — William C. Salisbury ; Byron — A. C. 
Campbell ; Marion — E. Payson Snow ; Scott^ 
George Young : Monroe — Austin Sines ; Lynn- 
ville — C. C. Burroughs; Flagg — Ira Overacker : 
Eagle — Jeriel Robinson; Xashua — Joseph Will- 
iams; Taylor — Hiram Sanford; Lafayette — 
Thomas Paddock. 

KiilfJ, WS-'i 



The following changes have been made in 
names and creation of new townships : 

NoTeniber 12, 1S50. the names of Harrison 
changed to Maryland ; Brooklyn to Rockville, and 
Eagle to Pine Rock. 

September 1], 1SC9, Haldane Township created 
out of west part of ilt. Jlorris and east part of 
Brookville ; September 11, 1872. name of Hal- 
dome changed to Lincoln. 

September 11, 1S55. Dement Township created 
out of east half of Plagg Township and embrac- 
ing all of T. 40 N., R. 2 E. Third P. Jl. 

March 5, 18.57, Forreston Township taken off 
from west part of Maryland Township and north 
part of Brookville. its area l>eing equal to one 
complete congressional township, but made up 
of the west half of Towns 2.") N.. Ranges 7 and 8 
E. Fourth P. JI. 

September 15, 1869, Eagle Point Township 
set apart from Buffalo Township and embracing 
the east half of T. 24 N., R. 7 E. Fourth P. M. 

September 15, 1880, Woosuug Township .set 
apart from Buffalo Township embracing an area 
of one-third congressional township, made up of 
the two northern tier of sections in T. 22 X.. R. 
S E. of Fourth P. M. 

Ogle County, embracing an area, according to 
estimate of Census Bureau, of 773 square miles, 
is thus divided at the present time, into twenty- 
five townships, with a total iwpulation, according 
to the last decennial census, of 29,129. In the 
following pages the history of individual town- 
ships is given in alphabetical order, with inci- 
dents of early settlements, sketches of cities, 
towns and villages and other facts connected 
with local history. 

rBy .1. \X. Clinton.) 
In 1850 a portion of the town of Buffalo was 
set aside as a new township to be known as 
Brookville. It is bounded by the township of 
Forreston on the north, Lincoln (originally Hal- 
dane) on the east, and Eagle Point on the south, 
and the county of Carroll on the west, consisting 
of just one-half of a governmental township, 
being three milts wide from east to west and 
six miles in length from north to south. It is 
a strictly agricultural district, with Brookville 
as its principal village. Bur Oak Grove is a 
beautiful cluster of trees nearly in the center of 

the township. Elkhorn Creek flows through it, 
and the soil is very fertile. 

While Brookville was a part of Buffalo Town- 
ship about 1842, Isaac Chambers built the first 
flouring mill at Brookville. It was a small affair, 
and stood further up the creek than its successors 
built by Samuel and Isaac Herb. 

Schools axd Churches. — In January. Feb- 
ruary and March. 1847. James L. Franks, a 
brother of Charles Franks, the pioneer who plat- 
ted Brookville village, engaged to teach a school 
in a house on the land of George Bingaman, and 
he was paid $18 per month. Among his early 
pupils were Hannah Franks, Charles, John, .Jo- 
seph. William and Jeremiah Franks; Lewis and 
Phoebe Reynolds ; Henry. Ellas, George and 
.Joseph Bingaman ; Henry, Riley and Mary 
Lower ; Emanuel, Samuel and Washington Sar- 
ber. This earliest school only continued two 
months. Later when a schoolhouse was built, 
Charles Franks contributed the land. 

In 1851, the first church was built. The Walkey 
family came in this same year. also, as probably 
did J. 6. Esher, to be followed by these others : 
Jacob Kemerling, 1852; William Strasberg, 1853; 
John Sindlinger and John Schneider, 1854 ; John 
Sindlinger and August Huelster, 1855: George 
Fleisher and R. Dubs, 1856-57 ; H. Rohland and 
D. B. Byers, 1857-58; H. Rohland and William 
Goessele, 1858-59; J. Gibbens and A. Gackley, 
18.59-60 ; J. Reigel and B. Von Freeden, 1860-61 ; 
J. Reigel, 1861-62; Henry Shoemaker, 1862-63; 
John Schneider. 186.3-64; J. G. Kleindeneicht, 
1804-65. After this those who sought a home in 
the fertile valley of the Rock River can scarcely 
be called early settlers. 

The Evangelical Church at Brookville was or- 
ganized soon after the arrival of the colony 
which came with the Herbs. The first preacher 
was Christian Lelntner. who was followed by 
Jacob Kemerling. 

A Lutheran Church was organized at Brook- 
ville at an early day. and a church edifice erected, 
but no data is at hand for a sketch. 

E.\RLY Business Enterprises. — One of the im- 
portant families of Brookville is that of Herb. 
Mr. Herb brought with him not only his house- 
hold goods, but also a stock of dry-goods. He 
was a miller by trade, and he and his son built 
a mill about 1846. and this was re-built in 1870 
at a cost of .$10,000. In 1883, Isaac Herb, sou oi 



Samuel Herb, the pioneer, repaired it at a cost 
of about $3,000. Tlie mill was burned iu 1887 
and was not re-built. The first mill was kept 
running day and night from Jlouda.v to Saturday, 
but never on Sunday. When Samuel Herb's mill 
and store were running, this was quite a business 
center, and Charles Franks laid out the village. 
In 1849, Jacob Walkey came from Pennsylvania 
and for a few years carried on blaeksmithing and 
farming. About this time, the brick store was 
built in Brookville. and it was continued until it 
was moved to Polo. John Hamilton, about 1850, 
built a pottery for his son-in-law, Hiram Winter- 
steen, where earthenware crocks. Jugs, etc., were 
manufactured, but it burned sometime iu the 
'si.Kties. It was rebuilt, but passed into the hands 
of Daniel Yeager, who conducted it until it was 
again burned a few years later. The building of 
the railroad to Polo checked the growth of the 
village. It is still a good point for a store and 

The Brookville ix)Stoffice was established May 
31. 1,S48. and Samuel Herb was the first Post- 
master. The present Postmaster is .Joseph Die- 
belbeis. The office receives a daily mail by rural 
route carrier from Polo. 

Township Officees. — The following have been 
Supervisors of Brookville Township since date 
of organization : David Hoffhine. ISoO : John 
Garman, lS.")l-.o2: Walter Donaldson, 18r,2-(G: 
Benjamin Good, 1863; Ambrose Sanborn, 1864- 
68; William Brand. 1869; Walter Donald.son. 
1870-78; Ambrose Sanborn. 1879-80: Levi S. 
Bowers, 1881; John Bowers. 1882-83; Walter 
DonaId.son, 1884; Jeremiah E. Bowers. 1885-89; 
Elias G. Bowers. 1890-93 ; Jeremiah E. Bowers, 
1894-97 ; Edwin J. Frey, 1898-99 ; Henry Ruben- 
dall, 1900-01 ; Henry H. Kahl, 1902-03 ; Edwin J. 
Frey, 1904-07 ; George Paul. 1908. 

Other officers of the township for the year 1008 
are: Town Clerk, Rufus II. Kahl; Assessor. 
.Joseph D. Herb ; Tax Collector. E. L. Shipmau ; 
Justices of the Peace, William Kroener, Benja- 
min J. Rubendall ; Constable, David Peat ; High- 
way Commissioners. Jacob Jlclluay. William 
Paul, Benjamin Buisker; School Treasurer. 
Joseph D. Herb. 

(P.y J. W. Clinton.) 
The early history of the region comprised with- 
in the four townships of Brookville. Eagle Point. 

Woosung and Buffalo, iu the southwestern part of 
Ogle County, Is given iu connection with that of 
the last, for during pioneer days this territory 
was all known as Buffalo Township, until the 
increasing population justified the several sub- 

One of the factors which contributed largely 
to the opening up and settlement of the Rock 
River Valley was the discovery .ind working of 
the lead mine.s at Galena. Many of the emi- 
grants from Eastern States, traveling to Galena, 
passed through the beautiful aud fertile valley, 
and either abandoned their original destination 
in order to locate in what afterwards became 
Ogle County, or returned to secure homes in that 
locality. This, without doubt, was the case with 
Isaac Chambers, probably the first settler of 
Buffalo Township. With his wife. Ann (Lee) 
Chambers, he had passed through this region 
about 1827 on the way to Galena, but in 1830 he 
returned aud took up a claim on the eastern 
edge of Buffalo Grove. It was his intention to 
build and keep a tavern for travelers, who would 
pass on the way to Galena, as it was just off the 
Galena Road on the south bank of Buffalo Creek. 
The cabin Chambers erected was. without doubt, 
the first white man's dwelling in Buffalo Grove. 

Following Chambers by only a few days came 
John Ankney, who had intended to locate uix>n 
the same site as that chosen by Chambers, and 
some controversy ensued between them in which 
Chambers was successful, Ankney finally choos- 
ing land on the north side of Buffalo Creek, 
about one-half mile northwest from Chambers, 
where he put up a rival roadhouse. 

The third settler at Buffalo Grove was John 
Alliuger. whose claim covered Rock Spring, but 
in 1831 he sold out to Samuel Reed, who prob- 
alily was the fourth settler, and an hour after 
bis arrival, came Oliver W. Kellogg. In June, 
1831, Elkanah P. Bush and John Brooky arrived 
from ICeutucky. but they sold out their claims 
to Captain Steplieu Hull who came in 18.35. They 
are remembered because they brought with them 
some fine Kentucky thoroughbred horses, the 
tir< to be iutroduced iu Ogle County. Elkanah 
P. Bush was made the first Postmaster. February 
12. 1833, but was soon succeeded by O. W. Kel- 

The early trails through Buffalo Tomiship 
supplied the place of roads, of which there were 
then practically none. Probably O. W. Kellogg 
was the first white man to over what be- 



came known as "KeJlogg's Trail." in isij. Tliis 
crossed Roc-lj River between ilouiit Morris and 
Polo, touched the western part of West Grove 
and continued nortli to Galena. In the spring 
of 1S26, Jolni Boles opened up another trail, 
which was not quite so roundabout, crossing the 
river at Dixon, and jjassing through the country 
about a mile east of Polo, north to White Oak 
Grove, half-a-mile west of Forreston, and thence 
through Crane's Grove on to Galena, which was 
the great ob.iectlve point in those days. In honor 
of him, this second trail was given his name. In 
March, 1827, Elisha Doty, who became a settler 
of Buffalo Grove in 1833, at Dixon's Ferry saw 
200 teams on the way to Galena, gathered at the 
ferry waiting for the ice to go out. The old 
Galena or State Road from Peoria to Galena, 
surveyed in May, 1833, by Levi Warner, very 
nearly corresponds with the trail laid out by 
John Ankney and two other commissioners In 
December, 1829, They reached Buffalo Grove on 
Christmas Day, and then it was that Mr. Ank- 
ney decided to locate on the site afterwards 
selected by Isaac Chambers. Portions of this 
road still remain in use. It begins a quarter of 
a mile south of Buffalo village and runs north 
to Brookville village. The "Lewistown Trail," 
opened about the time of Kellogg's, passed some 
distance west of Ogle County and crossed Rock 
River a little above Prophetstown. Another old 
trail was known as the Army Trail from Dixon 
Ferry to Crane's Grove, and perhaps on to 
Galena, which may have corresponded with or 
been the same as the "Boles Trail." ^tnother 
trail, almost parallel with this, bore the name of 
"Indian Trail," which could easily be traced as 
late as 18.50. These trails were not much more 
than footpaths, but the frontiersmen knew how 
to follow them, and when the emigrants began 
to come over them in large numbers, they soon 
became widened into rough roads. 

One of the distinguishing features of Buffalo 
Township was its beautiful groves, and the pio- 
neers never tired of telling of them after the 
axe of the white man had marred their original 
beauty. These groves were almost alive with 
honey bees, and the wild honey proved very 
gr.iteful to the first settlers. Unfortunately the 
Buffalo Grove of to-day is scarcely a .skeleton 
of what it was originally. In the 'thirties its 
boundaries were much wider, and its oaks, wal- 
nuts, elms and maples were the result of cen- 
turies of growth. Their wide, spreading 

lirancbes afforded ample shelter and room for 
the pioneer's cabin, while its springs furnished 
the necessary water supply. For the first ten 
or fifteen years after the first settlements made 
in Buffalo, the grove furnished material for near- 
ly all the lumber for the settlers' homes, for 
enclosing their farms and for their fuel. The 
early frame houses of the settlers of Buffalo, 
from 1S3G to 184C, were largely built from the 
lumber sawed from timber obtained from Buf- 
falo Grove or Pine Creek. The first saw-mill 
in the township, owned by Samuel Reed, was 
built on or near the site of the second house of 
Isaac Chambers, and its owner was kept busy 
for an entire year sawing railroad ties, all of 
which were taken from the groves. 

Buffalo played its part in the great tragedy 
known to history as the Black Hawk War, but 
as this is taken up in both the Military History 
of Ogle County and in the Historical Encyclo- 
pedia, as well as in the biographical depart- 
ment, no further reference to it is deemed avail- 
able here. 

During 18.32-3.':! emigration to Buffalo was 
stopped by this wai', but some of those who were 
brought into this region by the conflict, were so 
pleased by it that they came back a few years 
later to make it their permanent home. Elisha 
Doty located a claim at Buffalo Grove, and Levi 
Warner at Elkhorn Grove during 18:33, but 
neither occupied them. The latter was married 
in 1835, and his daughter, now Mrs. Lewis Rey- 
nolds of Polo, was the first white child born in 
Elkhorn Grove. He built a schoolhouse. and was 
active in- promoting religious worship. Levi 
Warner was the first Town Clerk of Elkhorn, 
and was active in that city until 1856, living to 
be eighty-four years of age. 

Elisha Doty probably brought his family in 
183-4, and in 1852 or 1853 he oiw rated a small 
grocery in the American House in Buffalo Grove. 
When Polo began to grow, he went to the new 
town, built the Polo wind-mill on the site now 
occupied by the Polo Water Stand-pipe, in con- 
junction with several business associates. In 
1858, he and S, Y. Pruse were running a general 
store at Polo, but losing all through reverses, he 
finally moved to Oxford, Iowa, where he began 
life anew, later visiting his old friends in Buf- 
falo from time to time. He lived to be about 
ninety years old. 

The oldest settler still n resident of Ogle Coun- 
t}- is undoubtedly Isaiah Rucker. of Buffalo 



Townsliiii, son of Joshua Carter Kucker who died 
when eighty -eight. In 1833. Isaiah Rucker came 
to Buffalo Grove, and in the spring of 1834, he 
began to drive a stage on John D. Winter's line 
between Peoria and Galena, and thus continued 
until the fall of 1837. He is still very active and 
is held in liigh respect. 

The first death in Ogle County was that of 
Samuel Reed of Buffalo Grove, father of Samuel 
Reed the settler, who had come on a visit from 
Peoria. He was taken sick and died August 17, 
1833, and was 'buried on his son's claim, where 
later was establi.shed the Rock Spring or Reed 

Prospectors were more niinierous in 18^34, the 
postoffiee established the preceding year, and the 
stage line, as well as the Black Hawk War, had 
advertised Buffalo Grove. In this year may be 
mentioned Cyrenus Sanford, then sixty years old. 
who with most of his large family, located south 
of Buffalo Grove, and built a saw-mill on Buffalo 
Creek. His sons were Amos, Warren W., Joel, 
Albion. Harrison. Vernon and Bennett Sanford. 
When Cyrenus Sanford died on May 28. 1858, 
be was one of the oldest men in the township, 
being ther eighty-three. Other settlers during 
1834 were Pearson Shoemaker. George W. Knox, 
AVilliam Brooke, Garret Deyo, Hamilton Norton, 
Leyman Preston, Hiram Fender, a Mr. Sackett. 
Stejilien Fellows, and his son, Simon Fellows, 
who took charge when nineteen years old of the 
first school ever taught in Ogle County, in the 
cabin of Samuel Reed, in the winter of 1834. 
It is interesting to note that in the fall of 1834 
Samuel Reed harvested corn, pumpkins and pota- 
toes, although not for the first time, and that in 
the summer he harvested the first winter wheat. 

In 1835 Buffalo village was surveyed by Levi 
Warner, and was called St. Marion lor the wife 
of Henry Stevenson, who, with O. W. Kellogg, 
hired Warner to do the work. This name was 
abandoned some years later on account of the 
refiisal of the Government to change the name 
of the postofhce, vi hich was known as Buffalo 
Grove. At the time of the survey, there was not 
a house on the town site, but the tide of emigra- 
tion set in strong during 18.35. James Talbott, 
Joseph M. Wilson, Rev. James JIcKean, Jack 
Phelps, Leonard Andrus. David Hoffhaine, Wash- 
ington Knox. Hiram McNamer. John Clark, Sol- 
omon Landis, George R. Webster, Peter Hull, 
Captain Hull, Ben.iamin Dean, George D. ^. 
Wilcoxon. Matthew S. Schryner. Stephen Smith. 

John M. Smith. William Illing\vorth, Charles 
Kitchen. Hugh and John D. Stevenson, all set- 
tled during this .vear about Buffalo or Elkhorn 
Groves, while David Worden settled on Pine 
Creek. It was in 1835, that James Talbott and 
Joseph Wilson began building the first flouring 
uiill, and they began grinding corn in June, 1836, 
before the roof was on. 

John D. Stevenson brought the first stock of 
goods to Ogle County, and was Postmaster at 
Buffalo Grove from April 11, 1839, to March, 
1840. His store and cabin were built in 1835, 
but were not occupied until New Year's Day, 
18.36. In 1851 he was elected Town Clerk of 
Buffalo Township, and held the oflice for six 
years. Mr. Stevenson took an active part in the 
formation of the Republican party in his local- 
ity, and lived until 1890, when he died in his 
eighty-sixth year. An interesting feature of his 
funeral, which was held at Polo, was the fact 
that there were present more than one hundred 
old settlers over fifty years of age. 

David Hoffhine settled at Chambers Grove in 
18.35 and is associated with the securing of thor- 
oughbred stock, and the history of Brookville 

The history of the selection of a county-seat 
when Buffalo was one of the aspirants for the 
honor, is gone into fully in another chapter. 

In 1836 there was another wave of immigra- 
tion, and among those who came here this year 
were : A'irgil A. Bogue, Fi-ederick Cushman. 
Jonathan Bellows, Horatio Wales. Vernon San- 
ford. Daniel O'Kane. John M. Smith (the first 
blacksmith), as well as many others. Hunn & 
Co. arrived during this year with the second 
stock of goods brought to the tov\-nship. It was 
also during this year that Wilson's mill began 
to grind wheat. Kellogg built his saw-mill in 
Buffalo Grove, and Phelps built his saw-mill on 
Pine Creek, while Phelps, Hitt and Swingley 
built their flouring mill on Pine Creek in 18.38. 
William Merritt built the first frame house in 
Buffalo Grove in this year, and it was during 
1836 that the schoolhouse was begun. Then, 
too, Stevenson's log store was succeeded by a 
frame building. 

By 1840 the first settlements had all been made. 
In this .vear many settlers arrived who after- 
wards became prominent in county history. 
While the exact number of settlers then in Buf- 
falo is not known, it is probable that it held its 
own. There has been some discussion as to who 



was the first physician, some contending that the 
honor belongs to Dr. Benton, and others that 
Dr. Fells was the first to locate here, but neither 
remained long. Before that, Dr. Everett of 
Dixon, or J. D. Stevenson, as well as Mrs. 
Stephen Hull, were called upon to visit patients. 
The latter became widely known for her minis- 
trations to the sick, and by many was always 
lireferred to a regular physician. 

It was in March, ISM, that George D. Read 
settled at Buffalo Grove, although for two .years 
he had been in dififereut parts of the county. By 
trade he was a tailor, and perhaps the of 
that calling in the county, but he did not follow 
his trade after coming to Buffalo Grove. In 
1841, he was appointed Postmaster, ser^'ed In 
the Mexican War and, in 1853, was again ap- 
pointed Postmaster and held that office until 
18(il. He was Justice of the Peace and Police 
Magistrate at Polo, led the Democratic party in 
his locality, and in 1860 became the editor of 
the "Ogle County Banner," which was published 
at Polo, so that he was one of the most promi- 
nent men of his time, dying in 1882, aged about 

Deacon Timothy Perkins and .John Broadwell 
Iioth came with their families, as did Rufus Per- 
kins, in the fall of 1840, and located at Buffalo 
Grove and in the village of Buffalo. Deacon 
Perkins had been a deacon in the Congregational 
Church of Buffalo Grove before his removal to 
Polo, when he joined the Independent Presby- 
terian Church. When he came to Buffalo Grove, 
he brought with him between 2.50 and 350 yards 
of what was called "broad or fulled" cloth, and 
this was eagerly bought by the settlers, although 
they paid principally in barter, for they had 
very little money. He also took a very active 
part in the "Underground Railroad." His house 
was the stopping place for the preachers of all 
denominations. Others to settle in Buffalo about 
this time were: Isaac Higley. John Lawson, 
Joseph Kellogg, John H. Woodruff', Alexander 
and Robert Lawson, Ira Z. Roberts, William 
Tucker, Thomas Woodruff, Isaac Sheldon Wo<xl- 
ruff, William G. Woodruff, Newton Woodruff, 
.John W. Stewart, John H. Hawes. Fisher Alli- 
son, Alfred Steffins, Daniel Fager, Jacob Petrie 
and Edmund Coffman. 

From the records accessible, it would seem that 
comparatively few settlers were added to Buf- 
falo Grove in 1841, but the following did locate 
here : Daniel Bascom, Rev. Lucius Foot, Michael 

blacksmith, and Dr 

O'Kane, Edward II 
J. B. Curtis. 

The winter of 1842 and 1843 is remembered 
as the Cold Winter. The first snow fell on 
November Sth, and by January, 1^3, it was 
thirtj- degrees below zero. On May 1, 1843. the 
ground was too deeply frozen to plow; Rock 
River did not open until April Sth, and there was 
snow in the fence corners as late as May, 

In August, 1843, L. N. Barber visited Buffalo 
Grove, and decided upon locating there with a 
stock of goods. Returning to Vermont, he en- 
listed the interest of his brother, C. R. Barber, 
and in October of the same year, they opened 
a store in the office of Jloses Hetfleld's tavern. 
This was the beginning of the first real store in 
Buffalo Grove, and during the next twelve years 
it developed wonderfully. In 1855, the partner- 
ship was dissolved, and Newton Barber took 
charge of the store and his brother devoted him- 
.«elf to farming and banking. Eventually he 
built a brick store on the corner of JIason and 
Division Streets in Buffalo, and continued to 
conduct his business until his death, .July 28, 
1859. He was Supervisor of the township and 
Polo. He was also active in the establishment 
of the Presbyterian Church. 

Mr. C. R. Barber's name became connected, 
as second President of the Board of Trustees, 
with the history of the township through asso- 
ciation with his brother Newton in the mercan- 
tile business, and also from the fact that he 
taught school in the winter of 1843-44 in Buffalo 
Grove. On May 19, 1847, he was appointed 
Postmaster of Buffalo Grove, and held the office 
until July, 1849. He also opened a bank In 18.56, 
in the west room on the first floor of Sanford's 
Hotel. In those early days the tavern (or hotel) 
was used for many purposes. Soon he put up a 
brick structure for his bank, near the present 
site of the Lutheran Church, corner of Locust 
and Division Streets, Polo. This banking busi- 
ness was afterwards disposed of, but in 1874 he 
founded the present banking house of Barber 
Brothers & Company, now conducted by his son, 
Bryant Harvey Barber, one of the strong finan- 
cial institutions of Polo. 

In 1846, the following arrivals are recorded: 
Roljert Huie, Sr., Aaron H. Johnson, Isaac 
Grush. John A. Dixon, Hawks and Moore and 
their families. Anthony Wilber, Sr., Alexander 
Henderson. Arnold T. Anderson. Lewis F. 
Thomas, Elias B. Waterbury. Daniel Ebersol, 



Cnptain Hiram Cutts, Thomas B. Cutts, Jolin B, 
Wilber, Rev. George Frisbee, Anthony Wilber, 
Jr.. Nicholas AA'. Harrington, Isaac Kimble, 
John Emrick, Benjamin Rubendall, Warner Mil- 
ler, Tillinghast Wilber, Lucius S. Thorp, Archi- 
baUl Genuell and Samuel Herb. The majority 
were married men with families. Rev. Leman 
Gilbert arrived about this time. A letter writ- 
ten about this period gives a little idea of the 
l)revailing i>rices in Buffalo. The wages earned 
were a dollar per day in summer and a dollar 
per one hundred for making rails. Pour bushels 
of corn were paid for a day's work on the stack. 
Pork sold for $2 and .$2.50 per 100 pounds. 
Wheat sold from 35 to 37V2 c-ents per bushel, 
and corn for from ten to twelve and one-half 
cents per bushel. The best of heef sold for two 
to three cents per pound. Potatoes and apples 
were practically unsalable. In this letter men- 
tion is made of the prime hunting and fishing. 

War Record. — While the records of soldier.^ 
who served in the Mexican (as well as the Black 
Hawk) War, as preserved at Springfield, are de- 
fective, there is evidence that of those who en- 
listed from Buffalo Township were Charles II. 
Osterhoudt. George D. Read, Elias Reed, and 
.John A. Dickson. Some soldiers of the Revolu- 
tion and of 1812 settled in Buffalo. Of the 
former was Rufus Perkins, and of the latter. 
Timothy Perkins, George D. H. Wilcoxon. .lohn 
Ankney, Samuel Reed, Sr., and Peter Hull. 

of the Postoflice Department show that an ad- 
vertisement issued from tlie department, June 
IS. 1827. contained a call for proiwsals for a 
route from Peoria to Galena once in two weeks, 
but there is no evidence that a conti-act was 
made. The first department record of a route 
that would pass through Buffalo Township, is 
for services from 1830 to 18.34. Such a route 
was continued through several sucee-ssive con- 
tracts. Isaiah Rucker, as has been elsewhere 
mentioned, was a driver on one of these routes, 
and from him have been obtained some facts in 
this connection. 

The government records also show that Buf- 
falo Grove Postoffice was established February 
12. 1833. with Elkanah P. Bush as Postmaster. 
January 30. ISof!, the name was changed to 
Polo, and the ofllce was moved one night from 
Buffalo Grove to Polo, and George D. Read was 
re-appointed Postmaster for the new town, as he 
had been for the old. June :'.(!,,. The present 

incumbent of the office is Harry E. Spear, who 
was appointed October 21, 1809, and re-appointed 
in ]'.X)3 and 1907. The first Rural Free Delivery 
Routes from Polo were established August 15, 
1000, with Willard H. Atkins and W. E. Grim 
as carriers. In 1907 there were eight rural 
routes, extending out and serving all the neigh- 
boring territory. 

In addition to these eight routes, operating 
from the Polo Postoflice, there are tlie following 
IMstofflces, which were in the original town of 
Buffalo : Brookville, Eagle Point, Hazelhurst. 
Hitt, Elkhorn Grove, Woosung. Stratford, Pine 
Creek and Barclay. 

Polo was entered as a second class office July 
1, 1907, and for some years it has been a foreign 
as well as domestic Money Order Office. 

Schools. — Buffalo Grove teachers are headed 
by the name of Simon Fellows, who undoubtedly 
was the first teacher in this locality. He taught 
a little group of pupils in the winter of 18.34 in 
the house of Samuel Reed, following this by an- 
other term during the winter of 1835. The next 
winter, he taught in the house of Oliver W. Kel- 
logg. There appears to be no definite data re- 
garding the teachers during 1836-38, but in 1839, 
Miss Percis Williams, a sister of C. K. Williams, 
taught at Buffalo in the summer. 

About the time of the founding of the village 
of Polo, John W. Frisbee began the erection of a 
school building on a ten-acre tract just south of 
the village of Buffalo, to which was given the 
name of Rock River Normal School. Mr. Fris- 
bee was born in Delaware Countj-. N. Y., in 1S2S. 
graduated from the State Normal School at Al- 
bany in 1847, and joining his parents at Buffalo 
Grove, during the winter of 1849-50 taught a 
select school in the second story of Isaiah Wil- 
coxon's house, the first floor being occupied as a 
postoffice, stage station, and for other purposes. 
Despite many disadvantages, his school was a 
success, and after teaching two or three terms 
under better conditions, he opened his school in 
August. 18.53. in his new quarters. He was a 
zealous student, had written some text-books, 
and had the capacity of imparting his enthusiasm 
to his pupils, besides winning the confidence of a 
large class of patrons. In 1854 he married Miss 
Phrocine Whiteside, in the same year was elected 
County Superintendent of Schools, but in Novem- 
ber, 1S55. soon after the passing away of his 
fatlier. his promising career was cut short by his 
death at the age of twenty-seven yr:irs. A iiost- 

Eagle Point Township i 


humous daughter, and his only child, i^^ the wile 
of CongTe.ssman William B. McKiuley of Cham- 
paign. III. 

In 1851 or 1S52, a schoouer was built at Kish- 
waukee and run down Rock River, cutting all 
the ferry ropes. The master was prosecuted at 
Byron, Oregon, Grand Detour and Dixon, but he 
defeated all the suits on the ground that Rock 
River was a navigable stream. Some of the 
arrivals at Buffalo Grove about this time were 
Samuel Waterbury. Amos Maltby. Daniel Hunt- 
ley, George and Charles Huntley. 

As Polo grew into promiueuee. the history of 
Buffalo Township became merged in that of the 
larger interests, and can best be followed by 
taking up the account of the rise and progress 
of this most beautiful of Illinois towns. From 
time to time several to\\aisliips have been separ- 
ated from the original Buffalo, and their history 
is presented in alphabetical order in this chap- 

Public Officers. — The Supervisors of Buffalo 
Township, since organization have been : Zenas 
Aplington, 1850; C. G. Holbrook, 1S51 ; L. N. 
Barber, 1852-54; Zenas Aplington, 1855; 0. H. 
Williams. 185(3-57; L. N. Barber, 1858-50; L. W. 
Warren. 18TO ; D. B. Moffatt. lSGl-62 ; C. H. 
Williams, 1863; David B. Moffatt, 1864-65; 
Charles F. Barber, 1866-67; Martin F. Bassett, 
J. W. Stewart, 1868 ; Charles W. Sammis, J. W. 
Stewart, lS6n ; Amos F. Moore, Daniel Bovey. 
1870; William L. Fearer, .Jerome B. Snyder. 
1871 ; Lyman Preston, 1872 ; Luther iMorse, 187.^ ; 
C. W. Sammis, 1874-76 ; William L. Fearer, 1877 ; 
Charles W. Sammis, 1878; William L. Fearer, 
1879-80 ; Walter W. Pierce, 1881-83 ; William L. 
Fearer, 1884; J. L. Moore, 1885; William L. 
Fearer, 1886-87; William H. Barkman, 1.888; 
A. .T. Sanborn, 1880-93; Samuel W,, Powell, 
1894-95; R. D. Woolsey, 1896-97; Samuel W. 
Powell, 1898-1007; Albert H. Johnson, 1908. 

Other township officers in 1008 were: Town 
Clerk, Harry Pyixr ; Assessor. H. W. Coursey ; 
Collector. Tunis R. Swart ; Highway Commis- 
sioner. Samuel S. Landis ; Library Trustees, L. 
F. Thomas, .Tames Donaldson. 

The vote on the question of licensing saloons 
under the local option law in 1908. stood: For 
license, 155; Against, 422. 


The town of Polo was incorporated by Act of 
the General Assembly of the State, February 16, 
1857, a little more than two years after the 

Illinois Central Railroad was built. This char- 
ter was amended, February 18, 1859, and a city 
charter was granted by the Legislature, Feb- 
ruary 19, 1869, and adopted by vote of the people, 
February 27, 1860. On June 25, 1877, the ques- 
tion of dropping the special charter, and re- 
organizing under the General Law, was voted 
on by a majority of more than thi-ee to one 
being cast in favor of remaining under the old 
charter. The first President of the Board of 
Trustees was Zenas Applington, and the Mayor 
in 1008 was Horatio Wakes. 

The first schools in Polo antedate the organi- 
zation of the Polo District by almost two years; 
In the winter of 1854-55, Miss Lucy Bassett eon- 
ducted a school in the Williams building on 
Mason Street, the site of which is now occupied 
liy the Becker Block. This school was continued 
by Jliss Bassett during the summer of 1855, and 
was undoubtedly the within the present 
limits of the Polo District. 

It is said that during the winter of 18.55-56, 
John C. Savage taught a public school in Wil- 
liams hall. If he did it was as a part of the_ 
Buffalo Grove District, from which he drew pay 
for his services. On April 21, 18.56, Polo School 
District was formed, and called District No. 2. 
As at first organized, it reached nearly to the 
town line, and south a mile or more beyond the 
corporation limits. It was barely organized, 
when the. district was divided, the division line 
running on Mason Street, the portion north being 
District No. 1, and that south. District No. 9. 
From April, 1857, until the creation of Polo 
School District by Act of the Legislature, in 
February, 1867, there were continuous changes 
or effoiis for changes. In the spring of ISG-.!:. 
the two Polo Districts and Buffalo Districts were 
imited. In December, 1866, Buffalo District 
Xo. 4 was again set off by itself. In February. 
1867, by special Act of the Legislature, the pres- 
ent Polo District was established, with about 
its present tei-ritory. 

After the building of the schoolhouse, in 1867. 
there followed a period of ten years, during 
which the people were satisfied with the new 
structure. In time, however, the teachers and 
jiupils discovered its imperfections and, as early 
as 1884, dissatisfaction became so pronounced 
that calls were made for an enlargement of the 
old or the building of a new structure. The 
ventilation was unsatisfactory: there were no 
class rooms ; the building was heated by stoves. 
As early as 1875, the building was overcrowded. 



and children were sent to the basement, or to the 
basement of the Presbyterian church. From 
1890, the need of a new building was apparent 
to all who investigated. After much discussion, 
it was decided to remove the old building and 
erect a new and up-to-date structure. In 1898, 
the School Board levied a tax of $7,000 for the 
beginning of a building fund preparatory to 
building, and on February 22, 1899, the School 
Board voted unanimously to erect the new build- 
ing, and also to issue twenty -four bonds of $500 
each, to bear interest at four per cent, payable 
semi-annually, to bear date of March 1, 1899. 
These bonds were sold March 2, 1899, at a 
premium of $193.20. J. L. Silsbee was the archi- 
tect °ni])loyed at a cost of $1,030.52, and the 
records show that the contract w-as let to T. P. 
Ruth tor $19,000. This contract was modiiied 
until, at the completiou of the building, the 
Board reported a total cost, not including beat- 
ing plant, furniture, blinds, etc., of $2'.t,'.Ki2.S7. 
The furnishings were supplied and owned by cer- 
tain public-spirited citizens, but subject to pur- 
chase by the Board, tiud valued at $8,375, making 
a total expenditure, a.s the building then stood, 
of $38,277. The grading of the grounds, laying 
of the walks two years later, cost about $1,680. 
If cost of lots and subsequent additional expen- 
ditures to make it what it is to-day were added, 
the entire property could not be replaced for 

Ground was liroken April 25. 18!>9. the work 
of demolishing the old building begun May 1, 
and the new structure completed and opened for 
public inspection on November 18 and 19, and in 
those two days 2,151 persons visited and passed 
through the building. On Monday, November 
20, 1899. the public schools occupied it for the 
first time. Friday, December 23, 1899. the dedi- 
catory exercises were held, and were very im- 

Polo cherishes the names of those who were 
its first teachers. According to best information, 
Miss Lucy Bassett, the first teacher, was suc- 
ceeded in 1855-67 by John C. Savage, Helen 
Bogue and Alfred M. Webster; and in 1857-58 
by Sarah Hackett Steven.sou, Matthew- Van Bus- 
kirk and Lucy Todd. The teachers who fol- 
lowed cannot be .lustly counted among the pio- 
neers in pedagogy. The total number of pupils 
who have completed the four year high school 
course since 1872. is 485. The Polo High School 

is now on the accredited list of the leading col- 
leges of the Middle West. 

The school district was first governed by the 
Township Trustees, but the first Board of Direc- 
tors was chosen in 1856 under the Free School 
Law of the previous year. 

Newspapers — Political. — In the spring of 

1857, Zenas Applington, Drs. Burns and Warren, 
L. N. Barber and S. E. Freat purchased material 
for a newspaper and employed Charles Meigs, Jr., 
to edit and publish the "Polo Transcript," the 
first copy of the "Transcript" being Issued in 
June of that year. The editor was a man of 
some ability, but he belonged to the class of 
printers, all too common, who loved their cups, 
and, before the year had passed, the stockholders 
and he had differences, the paper was suspended 
and Mr. Meigs drifted to Chicago. 

On M:\Y (i, IS.-iS, Henry R. Boss issued the 
first number of the "Polo Advertiser," having 
purchased the plant of the stockholders of the 
defunct "Transcript." He continued the publica- 
tion of the "Advertiser" until December. 1860. 
when he sold out and moved to Chicago, and for 
a number of years was in the employ of the 
"Tribune." The "Advertiser" under Mr. Boss 
was one of the best local papers in Northern 
Illinois, and gave much more of its space to local 
affairs than was then customary. It was a vigor- 
ous advocate of the principles of the Republican 
party. In July. 1858, it proclaimed Lincoln's 
name as its candidate for the Senate, and in 
November was enthusiastic in its advocacy of 
Lincoln for the presidency. In Polo, the politi- 
cal enthusiasm awakened in 1856, educated in 

1858, and wrought to a white heat in the campaign 
of 1860, was powerfully aided by such men as 
Applington. Helm, Bogue and the early Aboli- 
tionists, who by 18.58 had affiliated with the 
Republican party. Bos.s's paper was a vigorous 
advocate of liberty and the exclusion of slavery 
from all the Territories. 

When the Lincoln-Douglas debates were ar- 
ranged for, some of the Buffalo Republicans at- 
tended several of these debates, and probably 
there were several hundred from Polo at the one 
held at Freeport, on August 27, 18.58. The rail- 
road fare was placed at one dollar for the round 
trip, and many, both Republicans and Democrats, 
took advantage of this opportunity. 

.Vnotber impulse to i)olitical activity at Polo, 
was the nomination at Rockford, on September 



22nd. of Zenas Appliugton for the State Senate, 
for he was a man who had been prominent from 
the beginning of Polo, and also in Buffalo Town- 
ship. On January 6, 1859, Mr. Boss began in the 
"Advertiser" the publication of his history of 
Ogle County, afterward issued as a pamphlet 
of about ninety pages, without index. He sold 
his cloth-bound copies of this history for twenty- 
five cents. In 1903, a cloth-bound copy of this 
valuable work was sold at auction in Chicago 
for $9. Mr. Boss was a prominent figure In 
Polo history for some years, and lived to be 
seventy-two, dying in Chicago, 1907. 

On the liquor question Polo has always been 
strongly in favor of Prohibition, and it is the 
lioast of the people that not one cent of license 
money has gone into their improvements. This 
is a remarkable record, and one worthy of emu- 
lation by other municipalities. 

Some Civil War Reminiscences. — During the 
war. recruiting and bounty-raising meetings 
were held nearly every week, from the time of 
Lincoln's last call in December uutil the middle 
of March, 1865, when the deficit in the Buffalo 
quota was wiped out by the enlistment of men 
who received a combined bounty of .$700 each 
from the town, county and the general govern- 
ment. The public sentiment in Polo towards the 
soldiers and the war is indicated by the vote at 
a si>ecial town meeting, held February 10. 1865. 
for or against a town bounty of $500, which stood 
365 for the bounty, and 107 against. In May. the 
boys of the various regiments, who had enlisted 
from Polo, began to come home, and from then 
uutil September, they continued to arrive. 

The only lynching Polo was seriously threat- 
ened with, was on that April day when the wires 
flashed the terrible news of the assassination of 
President Lincoln, aud, as it was theu feared, 
of members of his cabinet also. Early that morn- 
ing it was reported that Peter Dawson, an 
elderly lumberman, had expressed his joy at the 
news. In their excited state, the people could 
not let such remarks pass unheeded. Cooler 
heads appointed a committee of fifteen to go to 
Dawson and give him one hour to leave tovm. 
and he, appreciating his danger, took advantage 
of the warning. 

Wednesday. April 19. 1865. is a day tliut will 
always be remembered in Polo, as it was the one 
set apart for observing the fuueral obsequies of 
the dead President. All business houses were 

closed. At twelve o'clock, religious services were 
held in all the churches of a solemn and impres- 
sive character. At two o'clock the church serv- 
ices being concluded, the congregations formed 
a procession and marched to the vacant lots south 
and west of the Presbyterian church, where they 
united and took up a line of march, all wearing 
badges of mourning. Returniug to the lots, mili- 
tary salutes were fired, the benediction was pro- 
nounced, aud the services were over. 

Polo was visited in 1878 by a terrible scourge 
in the form of diphtheria, between twenty and 
thirty deaths occurring, the victims generally 
lieiug children, but many more suffered from the 
dread disease. It was finally discovered that the 
trouble resulted from impure well water. 

In 1856 it is probable that Rev. Todd built 
his brick house on the corner of Congress and 
Dixon Streets, which now forms a part of the 
house of A. W. Schell. In that year, or the one 
following, Phelps & Johnson built a large frame 
building on the present site of Campbell's law- 

As the years passed, many changes were ef- 
fected. In June, 1879, the Odd Fellows left the 
old Porter or Woodniff building on Franklin 
Street, and fitted up a lodge room in Powell's 
building that had been re-built after a fire in 
January. In August, 1879, Black Brothers took 
down their steam flouring mill on east Mason 
Street and removed it to Beatrice, Neb. In 
December, 1879, the press and the people began 
to agitate for lighting the streets by electricity. 

Church History. — No true history of Polo 
can be given without devoting considerable .space 
to that of its churches, for the pioneer preacher 
ever follows close on the footsteps of the first 
settler. The first religious services in Buffalo 
Township were held in the new house of Captain 
Stephen Hull, before the roof was on. Probably 
these services were conducted by Rev. Aratus 
Kent, an early Presbyterian minister of Galena. 
L. A. Gregg probably visited the district in 
183-1-35. James JIcKean was sent to the Buffalo 
Grove mission in 1834 or 1835. Mr. McKean or- 
ganized the Buffalo Grove and Polo Methodist 
Church, March 3. 1835, which was the first or- 
ganized church within the present limits of Ogle 
County. George D. H. Wilcoxon, Stephen Smith. 
Mary Oliver. W. Kellogg and Oleitha Hughs were 
among the members. The same day a Sab- 
bath school was organized of which G. D. H. 
Wilcoxon was Superintendent, and Emeliue Hub- 



bard aud Isaiah Wileoxon teachers. In 1836, the 
Buffalo Grove school house was built and in this 
edifice services were held. In this little build- 
ing, afterwards enlarged to double its original 
size, the first quarterly meeting of the church was 
held, aud people came long distances to attend. 
Then, as for years afterwards, people opened 
their homes to entertain those from abroad over- 
night or as long as the meetings continued. The 
present church was erected in 1898 at a total 
cost of $15,000, and dedicated on January 29, 
1899. When the services commenced there was 
a deficit of $3,G75 to be raised, but before the 
conclusion of the evening services, the amount 
was in the hands of the Board of Trustees. The 
present commodious parsonage was built in 1900 
at a cost of .$3,800. In October, 1901, Rev. H. K. 
Carpenter succeeded Rev. Thornton and was pas- 
tor for four years, and he was followed in 1905 
by Rev. Perley Powers, who gave place to the 
present pastor. Rev. C. K. Saunders, in October, 
1907. The membership of the church is now 
over 350, and the Sunday school is in a flourish- 
ing condition. 

The Independent Presbyterian Church was or- 
ganized in the old first schoolhouse of Buffalo 
village, May 5, 1848, the same day the Congre- 
gational Church disbanded. It is the heir, if not 
the child, of the older church. The Rev. Calvin 
Gray was the presiding officer of the meeting, 
and Revs. Mills and Pearson participated in the 
deliberations. Rev. Robert Proctor became pas- 
tor of the church in October. 1808, aud served 
about three years. During bis pastorate many 
e.xtensive repairs were made on the churi'h and 
Sunday School room. Rev. .James Vincent suc- 
ceeded him, and he in turn was succeeded by 
Rev. Granger. Alexander Allison was the next 
pastor, and from 1883 until 1889, Archibald 
McDougall was in charge. J. G. Cowden fol- 
lowed, aud remained with the church until 1901. 
In .Janu:u-y, 1902, Kirby J. Miller took charge, 
and he was followed by various pastors from dif- 
ferent churches and professors from the Chicago 
University, from McCormick University, aud the 
Chicago Theological Seminary, until July 1, 1907, 
when the present pastor. Rev. C. O. Shirey was 
called by the church. The total membership of 
the church is about 180. In May, 1898, the 
church celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its 
organization, and in August, 1907. the fiftieth 
anniversary of the rtediratiou of the church 

As early as 1854 or 1855, Father Thomas Ken- 
nedy of Dixon, began holding occasional serv- 
ices in private homes in Polo. About the same 
time, in 1855, St. Mary's Catholic Church of 
Buffalo (Jrove began work to erect a church 
in the new town of Polo. The parish then com- 
prised about forty families, located in Polo and 
its vicinity. This first chui'ch was very small, 
but was later enlarged to about double its orig- 
inal size. It was located on North Franklin 
Street, the lot being donated to the church by 
Zenas Applington. The chapel was completed 
and occupied in the winter of 1856, and was the 
first church to be built in Polo. The priests who 
have been in charge are as follows : Fathers 
J. H. Kennedy, M. McDermot, Michael Ford, Dr. 
Louis Lightner, Morris Stack, Thomas Mangan 
and possiblyothers. Up to 1887, the church was 
served by priests from Dixon or Freeport. In 
that year. Father D. B. Toomey was given 
charge of all the churches in Ogle County, ex- 
cept that at Roehelle, and made Polo his home. 
He began work for a new church edifice. In 
the fall of 1894, he was succeeded by L. X. 
Du Four, who the same year was succeeded by 
Father John J. McCann, and during his pastor- 
ate, the present beautiful brick church was built 
at a cost of about $10,000. December 24, 1899, 
Father McCann held the first service in the new 
church, and his last in Polo, having been ap- 
pointed to the rectorship of St. Mary's Church 
of Elgin. His successor, Fatller Jeremiah J. 
Crowley, held his first service in the new church. 
Xew Year's Day, 1900, and the following Sunday, 
the church was dedicated. The present incum- 
bent. Father S. J. O'Hara, took charge in No- 
vember. 1906. The society has recently bought 
the property ad.ioining the church on the south, 
removed the old structure, aud is building on 
the site a parsonage which will probably cost 
$0,000. The church communicants number about 

The United Brethren Church of Polo held 
services in the Buffalo Methodist Church and in 
the old schoolhouse, as early as 1858. About 
1859, they repaired aud furnished the old school- 
house with seats, and held regular services there 
until their own church was built about 1863. 
John Mowery, Sr., was one of their first preach- 
ers. In 1858, Rev. M. Roe was stationed at Pine 
Creek and probably conducted services for this 
organization. In the fall of 1860, T. B. Bur- 
roughs was the pastor, but Rev. Bacon was prob- 




ably pastor when steps were taken for building 
at Polo. On October 5, 1865, the Rock River 
Conference of the U. B. Church was held in the 
new Polo church, although it was still a part of 
the Pine Creek circuit. In 189.5 and 1896, under 
.T. E. Barr, the church was repaired, and im- 
proved at a cost of several hundred dollars. The 
present membership is about seventy-, and A'. W. 
Overton is the present pastor. 

The Emanuel United Evangelical Church of 
Polo can be said to have commenced in 1809, 
when a number of Germans used to meet at the 
homes of the members and hold prayer meet- 
ings. In the fall of that year. Rev. Daniel Krae- 
mer, pastor of the Brookville Evangelical 
charge, hearing of these meetings, offered to 
preach for them once in two weeks, on Sunday 
afternoons. They secured the use of the United 
Brethren church for the meetings, and in the 
spring of 1870, Rev. J. G. Kleinkneeht succeeded 
Mr. Kraemer, and he organized a class. From 
1872 to 1877, no record of the church has been 
preserved, but in the latter year, they had a 
flourishing Sunday School. By the fall of 1878. 
the congregation built the church on the south- 
east corner of Locust and Congress Streets, at 
a cost of .$.3,500. While Rev. E. K. Yeakel was 
pastor in 1890, or 1891, the split in the denomi- 
nation occurred, and the bulk of the members 
went with the new organization, and conse- 
quently lost their church building in 1893. They 
rented until they bought property in 1900, re- 
paired it, and had it dedicated in November. 1900. 
It is a comfortable church, and there is a par- 
sonage connected with it on South Division 
Street. The membership is 140. and the present 
pastor is E. Y. Knapp. 

The Evangelical Church of Polo has the same 
history from 1869 to 1890 as the Emanuel United 
Evangelical Chui'ch. which separated from it in 
the latter year. Since then the minority have 
formed the Evangelical Church, and the organi- 
zation has been maintained, with regular serv- 
ices. The present pastor is Rev. W. A. Schultz. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church was organ- 
ized in August, 1870, in the Methodist church 
building, with thirty-six members by Rev. P. G. 
Bell. In 1872, they built a church at a cost of 
.$17,000, and in 1876 put up a parsonage costing 
.$1,400. In 1897, the present parsonage was built 
at a cost of $4..')00 ; the church has been remod- 
eled, and on .lanuary :'.!. 1907. a fine pipe organ 
was installed. The church buildings are the 

largest and most costly in Ogle County. The 
membership is about 27.5, and the present pastor 
is Rev. F. M. Keller. 

The Christian Church of Polo was organized 
in 1004 by Elder Harold Monser, who held a 
short meeting in the Baptist Church, and ap- 
pointed a committee to look after the new church. 
In 1906, the church w^as fully organized and the 
present pastor is Elder F. A. Sword. 

On April 21, 1857, the Polo Cemetery Asso- 
ciation was organized, w-ith Rev. William Todd, 
pastor of the Presbyterian Church as President. 
The original cemetery has been enlarged to 
double its size, and it now contains about sixteen 
acres, and is known as Fairmount Cemetery. The 
Catholic Cemetery joins it on the south, and both 
are carefully cared for. and reflect credit upon 
the management. 

Literary Society — Public Library. — A iwwer- 
ful intluence for good among the .voung people 
of Polo has been the Literary Society, the first 
mention of which was made publicly in the 
"Press" of April 1, 1870, when it was dechared 
that, at the first meeting, a membership of 
twenty-nine had been secured, and suggested that 
the society discuss the matter of securing a 
lihrar.v. After much agitation, a committee was 
apiwinted, a public meeting was held and .$845 
pledged towards a library. Eventually a build- 
ing and lot were secured, many of the leading 
business houses of Polo contributing, and finally, 
on December 21, 1871, the building was fur- 
nished, well supplied with books, and opened to 
the public with Miss E. F. Barber as librarian. 
The library was to be open two evenings and 
Saturday afternoons of each week, but one of 
the original by-laws provided that the library 
should never be open on Sunday. A small charge 
was made to those who were not stockholders 
for the use of books, but none was made to 
those who read in the rooms. From the first, 
until the library was turned over to the town- 
ship, its history is a succession of struggles for 
existence. A lecture course one year, donations 
from the literary society, the Young Men's Chris- 
tian Temperance Union, and from private citi- 
zens, helloed to meet its meager expenses, fur- 
nish periodicals and new books'. For more than 
twenty years, its librarian stood by it faithfully, 
serving almost without pay. On February- 15. 
1890, the board voted in favor of turning the 
property over to the town of Buffalo for a free 



public lilirary, iiruvidetl the electors of the town 
would vote a one-mill tax for its support. At 
the town meeting the electors voted for the tax, 
a meeting of all stockholders was held February 
3. 1891, and a majority voted in favor of the 
transfer, which was effected April 21, 18£>1. Janu- 
ary 2, 1893, the C. K. Williams bequest of $500 
was reported as received. In June, 1893. the 
Dewey system of cataloguing was adopted. 

Early in 1901, Mayor George W. Perkins and 
some of the citizens wrote to Andrew Carnegie, 
soliciting a donation of funds for a library build- 
ing. April 1, 1901, the Board of Trustees sent 
a similar request to Mr. Carnegie, and April 20, 
1903, word was received as to the conditions 
under which he would give .$10,000 for a library 
building at PoId. The board accepted his terms 
and May 11th. it was notified that the money 
would be provided as needed for the construction 
of the building. November 6. 1903, the corner- 
stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies, and 
on September 29. 1904. the building was opened 
to the public. The total cost of the building, 
including grading of the lot, cement walks and 
steps, and other improvements, was about 
.$15,000. Miss E. F. Barber is still the accommo- 
dating librarian. The annual expenses are about 
.$900. which are met by the one-mill tax levy, the 
interest on the Williams be<:iuest, etc. 

Public Utilities — Municipal Conditions — 
The population of Polo in 1909 is about 2,000. 
The city is situated on the Chicago, Burlington 
& Quincy. and the Illinois Central Railroads, 
has a sewer system, and a purifying plant which 
cost $40,000, and including the outlet, 7.19 miles 
of sewers. Its water system, which is free from 
debt and supplies nearly all parts of the cify. 
cost over $50,000. It has a school property that 
could not be duplicated for $50,000, and the 
value of it.* church property must be equal to 
$100,000. The streets are lighted by electricity, 
and there are miles of cement sidewalks. The 
township owns the town hall, or Opera House, 
which is a very handsome building. It Is the 
boast of this beautiful city that not one cent of 
liquor license money has gone into its Improve- 
ments, and there are to be seen very few of 
the tumbledown houses which mar the beauty 
of so many municipalities. The streets and lawns 
are kept in excellent order, and the people natur- 
ally are proud of what they have accomplished. 
The effort made in the past to build up manu- 

facturing interests, was not successful, for this 
is essentially an agilcultural community. The 
Polo Mutual Telephone Company and the Ogle 
County Telephone Company have each a large 
exchange and give the city good service. Polo 
has a National and a private bank, its business 
houses are much above the average, the absence 
of licensed saloons for forty-four years has 
added greatly to the prosperity of the city. 

In 1835, Jared W. Sanford of Connecticut was 
on his way up Rock River from Dixon's Ferry 
to Midway (then Rockford), a place of "two 
families and eight or ten young men," where he 
had a brother in the employ of Germanicus Kent. 
As he passed a point a mile west of where Byron 
now is, attracted by its beauty and by the op- 
portunity the river showed for water power, 
he stopped and staked a claim. Then going on to 
Midway he returned next day, bringing with him 
his brother, Joseph Sanford, and Perry Norton, 
the latter lately arrived from New York. The 
three staked claims until they had Included 
about two sections, this proving the beginning 
of what Is now Byron Township. 

Pioneer Conditions and Development. — Soon 
after. Jared W. Sanford and Perry Norton, in 
order to establish their claims, returning with a and a yoke of oxen, plowed a strip of 
ground and laid the foundations of two cabins, 
In order to procure oxen, Sir. Norton traveled 
as far as Indian Creek, near Ottawa, before he 
fouud any for sale, there purchasing three yoke, 
for which he paid $150.50. Then returning he 
brought with his cattle a cart and plow, and 
with M. M. York, who bought an interest In the 
claim, P. T. Kimball from Vermont, and a Mr. 
Rogers, began splitting rails for fencing the 
claim. For twenty-three days they lived in the 
wagon-box and a rail shanty. This was in 
October. They obtained a canoe made by Potta- 
watomie Indians, who passed up and down the 
river at intervals. Their name for the stream 
for generations had been "Slni-sepo," which be- 
came for us "Sinnissippl." 

After spending the winter at Midway, Mr. 
Norton returned in the spring and found a log 
cabin already built and occupied by M. M. York, 
P. T. Kimball, Sebra Phillips and Joseph San- 
ford. The cabin, 10x14 feet, was the first house 
In the township, being located across the river 



and opix)Site the village which grew up later. 
Ehiring the year other settlers came, the first 
being Asa Spauldlng and Silas St. John Mix. 
from Bradford County, Pa., and L. O. Bryan. 
These were followed by Erastus Norton of New 
York, Lucius Reed of Vermont, and A. O. Camp- 
bell, Andrew Shepherd, Allen Woodburn, J. L. 
Spaulding, Simon S. Spauldlng, Hiram R. llay- 
nard, and Rev. Chester Campbell of Bradford 
County, Pa., and Samuel Carr. Those who came 
in 1837 and 18.38 included Alexander Irvine, 
Deacon Morley and John Sabens, Daniel Simms 
of Bradford County, Pa. ; Col. Dauphin Brown 
and John M. Clayton and I. S. Knowlton, of 
Massachusetts ; A. T. Johnson of Ohio ; Joshua, 
Samuel and Dudley Wood of Schoharie County. 
N. Y. ; Mr. Mclntyre and Isaac Norton, the lat- 
ter bringing with him four daughters, while Col. 
BrowTi brought four daughters and three sons. 
There was also Deacon Brewster with seven 
daughters and two sons. The names of others 
who came to Byron Township in the forties and 
in the fifties, are John S. Kosier and Daniel Bar- 
rick from Perry County, Pa., Charles Fisher and 
J. P. Smith from Massachusetts, John C. Davis 
from England, Charles L. Hall from Canada, 
William Lockwood from Ohio and F. A. Whee- 
lor-k from Vermont. 

Daniel Simms was the oldest resident of 
Byron Township at the time of his death, De- 
cember 2, 1908, having then attained the age 
of ninety-one. Prom 1838 to 1908 he had re- 
mained on 160 acies of land in Section 12, which 
he had entered from the Government. A. G. 
Spaulding and Brothers, the well known Chicago 
merchants, extensive dealers in athletic goods, 
are sons of J. L. Spauldlng. Edwin Brush, the 
magician, who appeared before the Ogle County 
Chautauqua Assembly at Oregon in 1908, be- 
longs to a family whose home for some years 
was Byron, now Rockford. 

A village was promptly started on the claim 
of Jared W. Sanford and Perry Norton, the first 
house being erected by S. St. John Mix in the 
fall of 1836, which was used as a dwelling and 
general store. The second house was built by 
P. T. Kimball and occupied by Lucius Reed as 
a tavern. Mr. Bradley built a dwelling and a 
blacksmith shop, these four making up the build- 
ings on the village site for the first year. The 
name given it was Pairview, after the Connecti- 
cut home of Jared W. Sanford. Under order of 
the County Commissioners' Court at Galena, the 

first election at Pairview was held in August. 
1836. at which a constable and Justice of the 
Peace were elected, and votes were also east 
for county and State oflicers, the number of 
votes polled being thirteen. 

In 1837. Sanford Brothers and Brown built the 
first sawmill on the small stream north of the 
village. The houses put up in 1836 were pro- 
vided with hewn lumber only, or sawed lumber 
olitained from Elkhorn Grove or Pine Creek, 
where a sawmill had just been completed by 
.lohn Phelps. Other supplies were equally difii- 
cult to obtain. Galena and Chicago, then towns 
of about the same size, and with a combined 
population not to exceed 5,000, and Ottawa and 
Peru were the nearest trading points. Even the 
nearest gristmill was at Elkhorn Grove, twenty 
miles away, or, a little later, on the Kishwaukee. 
But in 1838 the settlers had a grist mill of their 
own, Ijuilt by William Wilkinson of Buffalo, 
N. Y. 

The nearest post-office was Dixon, twenty-six 
miles domi the river, and mail was obtained 
when some one drove for it, usually once a week. 
This continued only a short time, and when the 
stage line of Prink and Walker was established 
between Dixon and Rockford, the village was 
given a post-ofiice. In the meantime the name 
had been changed from Pairview to Blooming- 
ville. and as there were then a Bloomlngton and 
a Bloomingdale in the State, another change was 
advisable. It is said that a lover of the poems 
of Lord Byron made the suggestion of honoring 
his memory, which was adopted. The new town 
grew apace. It had the general store of Wilbur 
& Norton, the two-story brick hotel built by the 
Woods, the wagon-shop of Mix and Messenger 
and later of William Lockwood, and the foun- 
dry of Wood and Byington. Plows were made 
by the Woods and William Lockwood, and after 
1S.54 by Solomon D wight. It is claimed the first 
corn cultivator to plow a row of com at a time 
was made at Solomon Dwight's shop. 

Ad\ent of the Railroad.- — Byron was without 
a railroad for many years, its nearest station 
then being Rochelle and later Oregon. In 1874 
the Chicago & Pacific Railroad was projected 
from Chicago to Elgin as a narrow-gauge road, 
but the plan was changed to broad-gauge from 
Chicago to Byron. Citizens of Byron subscribed 
$24.-500 of the stock, among the subscribers being 
A. O. Campbell. Joseph Blount, M. D., I. S. 
Knowlton. Hiram Gitchell, W. S. Ercanbrack, 



Junius Rogers. E. H. Evans and John Kosier. 
The road was completed to the river on March 
19, 1875, but to get into Byron it was necessary 
to have $5,000 additional for a bridge. This was 
advanced by the citizens and trains ran into 
Byron in the tall of 1875. Five years later the 
road was extended to the Mississippi at Savanna 
and came under control of the Chicago, Milwau- 
liee & St. Paul Company. In 1886 the Chicago 
and Great Western Railway was built through 

Schools. — One of the early schools of the 
county was that taught in Byron by Lydia Wel- 
don. The house stood where the Masonic Hall 
now is, and was built by St. John Mix in the 
fore part of 1837. School began the following 
summer. This was a private, or subscription 
school, which was the kind in vogue until after 
the enactment of the public school law of 1855, 
the first school law (that of 1825) proving 
a failure while several later ones were little 
better. In 1851 the Byron Academy was started, 
a building being provided by a stock company. 
This proved a good school, but was a financial 
loss and was later sold to the village for its 
public school. The first principal was William 
B. Christopher. Other pioneer teachers of Byron 
were Mrs. Dr. Bradley, Miss Clark, Professor 
and Mrs. Turner. The academy building re- 
mained the home of the public school until 1903, 
when it was destroyed by a fire occurring during 
the school session, but without loss of life or 
injury to any of the pupils. A pretty new brick 
building was at once erected on the same loca- 
tion, the grounds of which cover a block, at a 
cost of .$16,000. which with the value of the 
grounds represents §20,000. The number of 
pupils enrolled is 250. A four years' high school 
course is maintained. The present Superin- 
tendent is Miss Laura Hatin. The Board of 
Education consists of the following: L. D. Mar- 
shall, President; E. Burd. S. S. Piper, F. R. 
Kendall. F. R. Detwilder, J. A. Johnson. 

Churches. — The first religious denomination 
to be represented by a society iu Byron was the 
Congregational, in 1837, when Rev. Morrell of 
Rockford effected an organization. The first 
members were Col. Dauphin Brown, L. O. Bryan, 
P. T. Kimball, David Holt, Mrs. Eleanor Mix, 
Luke Parsons and Lucius and Mrs. Reed, at 
whose house the meetings were held. The first 
pastor was Rev. E. Brown, who came from North 

Hadley, Mass., in 1838. In 1846, the brick church 
— still standing but no longer used by the congre- 
gation — was built and was dedicated the fol- 
lowing year, the dedicatory sermon being 
preached by Rev. Jonathan Blanchard of Knox 
College, Galesburg. In 1905, the present new 
edifice was erected at a cost of $9,000. The 
member.ship numbers 195. The pastor is the 
Rev. S. A. Long. 

The few settlers of the Methodist faith held 
their first meeting at the house of Perry Norton 
in 1835, when Rev. Abbott, who was passing 
through the region, preached for them, which 
next was done by Alexander Irvine, a local Meth- 
odist preacher and farmer of Roekvale Town- 
ship. Organization was accomplished in 1837 
under the direction of Rev. McKean, with six- 
teen members. Eighteen years later their first 
church was built, during the third period of 
service there as pastor by Rev. Barton Cart- 
wright, who hauled all the stone for the foun- 
dation and walls himself, and worked on the 
building as it was being constructed. In 1884, 
the present frame church was erected at a cost 
of abont $3,500, the stone building forming the 
rear of the new plan. In 1908, alterations and 
improvements costing $4,000 were made, among 
them being two handsome memorial windows — - 
one the gift of Judge Edmond Burke of Chicago, 
formerly of Byron, in memory of his father and 
mother, Patrick Burke and Elizabeth Whitney 
Burke, old settlers of Byron Township, and the 
other presented by Mrs. Emily Kosier of Byron, 
in memory of her mother. Julia Whitaker Stuart, 
long a resident of Byron and daughter of John 
YPTiitaker. the first settler of Mariou Township. 
The present membership of the church is 100. 
The pastor is Rev. W. H. Locke. 

There is also a strong Catholic congregation, 
having a church of their own built about twelve 
years ago at a cost of $3,000, in which mass is 
said and a sermon preached every alternate Sun- 
day by the priest stationed at Oregon, at this 
time Rev. Andrew J. Burns. The membership 
is 150. This church, like those of Oregon and 
Polo, is now in the new diocese of Rockford, at 
the head of which is Bishop P. J. Muldoon. The 
first priest to officiate at Byron was Rev. J. J. 

There originated iu this county, not many 
years ago. a religious belief as extraordinary as 
any recorded in American annals. In 1877, the 
pastor of the Congregational Church of Byron 



was Rev. L. C. Beekman. His wife, Dora Beek- 
maD, was fond of taking ttie part of Bible reader 
and exhorter in connection with tlie Sunday and 
mid-week services of tlie church. Her friends 
declared that she had ability as a speaker ; 
others asserted that her discourse was rambling. 
After a year or more of such ministration, dur- 
ing which she extended her field of endeavor to 
Alpena, Mich., and St. Chai-les, Minn., she 
startled the community by the relation of an 
alleged supernatural visitation. She stated that 
she awoke at midnight at her home with an irre- 
sistible desire to pray. She arose and, leaving 
her sleeping husband, went into an adjoining 
room, where she knelt in prayer. In the midst 
of her supplication and adoration, she saw the 
room become bright, as if an angel with trailing 
robes of light were passing through, and heard 
a voice which said, "Dora ! Dora !" Awed, but 
inspired by the beautiful solemnity of the scene, 
she replied In the words which she had so often 
read from her Bible, "Abba ! Father !" when the 
voice answered and said, "Thou art the beloved 
of the Lord." Meantime Mr. Beekman had been 
awakened and he, too, saw the light and heard 
the voice. Here was an utterance pertaining to 
religion which demanded all the credulity that 
ever Delphian oracle did. 

From the time of her divine recognition on- 
ward, Dora Beekman called on all Christians to 
believe that she was the manifestation of the 
second coming of Christ, and immediately she 
had followers. Some who had listened to her 
Bilile readings and her exhortations now saw in 
her "the first born of the re-appearance of Christ 
upon earth." They took the name of "The 
Church of the First Born." They believed Dora's 
radiant baptism had made her perfect : hence 
came the name, "Perfectionists." Mrs. Beekman 
went to Alpena. Mich., and there made some con- 
verts among the former attendants upon her 
readings and exhortations. One of these was 
George Jacob Schweinfurth, a Methodist minis- 
ter who was to be an Important figure in the 
affairs of the new sect. A church was estab- 
lished at Alpena; al.«o at Chicago and Paw Paw. 
111.; St. Charles, Minn.; Kansas City, Mo., and 
Buena Vista, Colo., with the one at Byron mak- 
ing seven. In the language of scriptural allegory 
these were called "The Seven Churches of Asia," 
alluded to in Revelations. 

In 1882, Mrs. Beekman died at Buena Vista, 
Colo. Those of the new faith believed she would 

rise from the dead on the third day. When that 
did not happen, her body was brought to Byron 
for burial, but this was not accomplished without 
some conflict with the authorities, because of a 
refusal at first to open the cofiin. Her followers 
then looked forward to her resurrection at the 
end of forty days. When that failed, "many were 
sorely perplexed." The ministry of the lost 
leader was taken up by her early convert and 
enthusiastic adherent, George Jacob Schwein- 
furth. upon whom her mantle was regarded as 
having fallen, and in whom her spirit was seen 
guiding their affairs. This disciple, who, it was 
said, possessed some education and was an im- 
pressive speaker, established himself and a band 
of his believers on the Weldon farm, four miles 
from Byron, where he built a conunodious man- 
sion out of money given and the income of lands 
deeded to him by the heads of several well-to- 
do families of Byron Township, where all lived 
on the communitj' plan. This continued for ten 
years, or more, and until Byron people who were 
not Perfectionists said so much about evident 
irregular conduct at Schweiufurth's community 
home as to cause some of the more i>romiuent 
and substantial members to withdi-aw their sup- 
port. This resulted in a lack of sufficient funds 
for its maintenance and the home was broken up 
and abandoned. In 1894. Schweinfurth reported 
to the New York Tribune Almanac, for use under 
the head of "Religious Societies of America," the 
name of his denomination as "The Church Tri- 
umphant," having twelve societies, of 135 mem- 
bers, and property of the value of $15,000. The 
number of adherents at Byron was. perhaps, 
forty. No organization is maintained there now, 
nor are there any "Beekmanites," the name by 
which the Church of the First Bom was most 
commonly known, to be found anywhere else as 
an organized church society, at least in this 
country : but the "Agapemouites" of Somer- 
setshire, England, whose affairs have just re- 
cently gotten into the courts there, possess a 
cult, the ethics of which contain the following 
statement : "Having the spirit of God, we are 
lifted above the ordinary code of morals and 
cannot sin," which is substantially the same sort 
of curious theological propaganda that used to 
be heard among the Perfectionists of Byron. 

Unpergeound Railroad Reminiscences. — By- 
ron was a station on the Underground Railroad 
in slavery days, and in successful operation from 



the time of tbe enactment of the Fugitive Slave 
Law in 1850, until and after the beginning of tbe 
War of the Rebellion in 1861. When the Mason 
and Dixon Line, or the Ohio River, was reached 
and crossed, hope increased and steps quickened 
in the knowledge of the shelter and aid sure to 
be found at the hospitable stations of the Under- 
ground Railway. The escaped slaves sometimes 
came into Ogle County at Polo from Sugar Grove 
in Lee County, and were protected and sent for- 
ward by station agents — Virgil A. Bogue, Tim- 
othy Perkins, Solomon Shaver, John Waterbury 
and others — across the county to Byron, where 
they had the good offices of Rev. George Gam- 
mell, Jared W. Sanford and Lucius Reed, who 
conducted them to Lyunville, to be piloted from 
there over iuto DeKalb County, nearer to Chi- 
cago and Detroit, by Elijah Dresser. It also 
ba])pened that the fleeing Iwndmen came up the 
east side of Rock River to the station at the 
farm of Ruel Peabody in Nashua Township, and 
were by him safely delivered at Paine's Point, 
to be taken thence to the Lyunville station. 

Elijah Dresser, still living at the advanced age 
of eighty-seven years, in the city of Rockford, 
has furnished the following recollections of his 
experiences in this line for use in this history: 

"The fugitive slaves seldom came singly, but 
by twos and threes and sometimes more. One 
night a load of six was brought to me — one man, 
three women and two boys. It was largely the 
practice after crossing the border for them to 
be secreted by Free State men for a time, and 
then got together and brought on by law break- 
ers, like myself, under cover of night. How- 
ever. I always went by daylight. The last fugi- 
tive that came my way was a mulatto woman 
about thirty years of age, together ^ath her 
baby, eighteen months old. She staid at my 
house a number of days and we learned some- 
thing of her life and histoiy. She was raised at 
Paducab. Ky.. was taken to Missouri at the out- 
break of the Civil War to be sold South, which 
led her to make desperate efforts to escape. She 
was helped by Free State men, having been 
driven all one night in a covered carriage, with 
tn-o men on horseback, revolvers in hand, to pro- 
tect her. She was intelligent, could read, had 
her hu.sband's Bible and hynm-book with her, 
her husband, who had died of consumption, hav- 
ing been a deacon in the African Baptist Church. 
All runaway slave.^ li:id a srcit horror of being 

<apturcd ; if cairtured, they were invariably 
doomed to be sold in the far South." 

Byron Township sent many brave men. to aid 
the nation in the struggle of the War for the 
T'nion. The strong sympathy for the cause led 
to the agitation of the erection of a monument 
early in the summer of 18ti4, and the formation 
of the Byron Monument Association later was 
the result of this feeling. As a permanent as- 
sociation its first meeting was held on Septem- 
ber 27, 1865, I. W. Norton being chosen Presi- 
dent ; M. L. Seymour, Secretary ; James John- 
ston, Treasurer ; a constitution and by-laws 
adopted and a committee, consisting of F. A. 
Smith. Silas Kidder, Wright C. Hall, Aquilla 
Spencer, A. T. Johnston, J. P. Smith, Dr. J. 
Blount. John S. Kosier, M. L. Seymour, appoint- 
ed with power to carry on and complete the work 
pertaining to the erection of a suitable monu- 
ment in honor of the soldiers of Byron. This 
monument, the first erected in Illinois in mem- 
ory of the recently fallen soldiers, was completed 
and dedicated October 18, 1866, the people of the 
village and of the surrounding country partici- 
pating in the exercises, the address being deliv- 
ered by former Adjutant General Allen C. Ful- 
ler, of Belvidere. The monument stands in the 
center of the crossing of Second and Chestnut 
Streets, and can be seen from a long distance 
off to the south and west. The shaft is of beau- 
tiful Rutland marble, surmounted by an eagle 
poised for flight. The stone base of the monu- 
ment rests on a grassy mound four feet in height 
and is surrounded by an octagonal wire fence 
set on stone coping. On the northeast side of 
the plinth is engraved the following : "In mem- 
ory- of the patriotic boys of Byron, who fell in 
subduing the Great Rebellion— 1861-1865." On 
the southeast and northwest sides are inscribed 
tbe names of the soldiers. On the southwest side 
is the coat of arms of the State of Illinois deeply 
carved. In May, 1887, another plinth of tbe 
same kind of marble, was placed under the one 
first included, thus making the monument nine- 
teen feet six inches high, and the entire cost 
$1,700, raised by subscription. 

On May 30, 1900, an accident befell the be- 
loved monument. The cement used in its con- 
struction gradually working loose, a sudden, 
stronu iTust of wind struck the monument, decked 
in its memorial emblems, overturning and shat- 
tering all hut the chiseled figure on the top of 
the shaft, which lay, still triumphant, at the foot 



of the mound. The ubiquitous reporter, hap- 
pening to be on hand, ascribed the accident to 
a strolie of lightning. 

The monument was Immediately rebuilt, a new 
shaft replacing the broken one, the deposed, yet 
victorious eagle again surmounting it, and the 
names of all soldiers residing in the township, 
and of all who enlisted from it in any one of 
the wars of our country, were carved on the 

In 1897. through the interest of the Albert 
Woodc-ock Camp of Sons of Veterans, and main- 
ly through that of Captain Carl Spalding, of the 
Camp, two cannon, weighing 4,500 pounds each, 
and tw^elve feet in length, were obtained and 
placed inside the monument enclosure. These 
are abandoned guns from the United States Ar- 
senal at Governor's Island, New York harbor. 

The Press. — The newspaper now published in 
Byron is "The Byron Express-Record." It was 
started in 1878 by Ervin and Hewitt and by 
them called "The Byron Express." Later it was 
removed to Shannon, 111., by Mr. Ervin, who had 
bought out his partner, and then brought back 
to Byron. In 1884, Shiley and Humbert became 
its owners, followed at different periods by Ed- 
ward Eliot, D. W. Hartman and O. C. Cole. The 
last named sold in 1808 to the present owners 
and publishers — Lydia R. Artz and Son. The 
people of Byron look to the "Express-Record's" 
weekly appearance for a chronicle of the local 
happenings of the community. 

A Disastrous Fire. — On November 13, 1877, 
Byron sustained a great loss through a disas- 
ti'ous fire, which started iu the rear of the drug- 
store of Thompson and Kennedy and. extending 
to the adjoining buildings before anything could 
be done to checli it, it swept on In its path of 
destruction until most of the business portion of 
the village had been destroyed. The loss was 
$40,000, with insurance of only $6,000, but re- 
building was begun at once and, with new places 
of and new stocks of good, the mer- 
chants and others soon re-established their vari- 
ous lines of trade and again prospered. 

Business Enterprises. — Byrou now has gen- 
eral stores and shops, two hotels, two livery 
bams, and two banks — the Farmers and Mer- 
chants Bank, of which Thomas Roberts is Presi- 
dent ; .V. W. Buun, Vice-President; George F. 
Bunn, Cashier: and Frank Detwilder, Assistant 

Cashier : and the Byrou Bank, with W. A. Smith, 
President. J. C. Stires, Vice-President ; Ray Bar- 
rick, Cashier, and A. R. Mize, Assistant Cashier, 
A canning factory, representing an investment 
of $10,000 and managed by a stock company, was 
established several years ago, but is not now iu 
operation. The village possesses a municipal 
water supply plant, an artesian well of a depth 
of 2,004 feet, furnishing an abundant supply of 
pure water. That and the rest of the equipment 
represents an outlay of $20,000. A private elec- 
tric light and power plant, owned and operated 
by Daniel Gloughner, gives the village excellent 
lighting service. The present officials are John 
Whitaker, Mayor; W. A. Hunter, Clerk; C. F. 
Bunn, Treasurer : Henry Myers, Philip Cooper, 
James C. Woodburn. W. D. Hunter and John 
Gill, Aldermen ; and Lyman Dexter, City Attor- 

Township Officers. — Byi-on Township was 
one of the first townships organized in the coun- 
ty. Since its organization the following have 
seiTed as members of the Board of Supervisors : 
A. O. Campbell, 1850-51 ; Isaac W. Norton, 1S52- 
5.3; A. G. Spaulding, 18.54; J. P. Smith. 1855; 
.Tesse Reed, 185G-59; Solomon Dwight, 1860-63; 
Augustus T. Johnston, 1864-65; Isaac W. Nor- 
ton. 1866-71 ; Levi B. Burch, 1872-78 ; Harvey 
Thompson, 1870; Levi B. Burch, 1880; Harvey 
Thompson, 1881-83; James Campbell, 1884-87; 
John F. Spaulding, 1888-97; John C. Stires, 1898- 
1907; D. D. Emery, 1908. 

The other officers for the township for 1908 
are; Town Clerk. T. L. Hanger; Assessor, Hen- 
ry Hamaker ; Tax Collector, William Dillon ; 
Justices of the Peace, Lyman Dexter, P. A. 
Wheelock ; Police Magistrate, Jacob E. Sherman ; 
Constables, Charles J. Reese, Garret Stires ; 
Highway Commissioners, James Dillon, "William 
D. Barry. T. E. Collotan ; School Treasurer. 
Wilev S. Johnson. 


Colonel John Dement, of Dixon, entered the 
north half of .Section 23. Tp. 40 N., R. 2 E., and 
a village named for him was afterwards estab- 
lished upon the northwest quarter of this sec- 
tion. The territory now forming Dement Town- 
ship was at first included in Flagg Township; 
in 1856 it was set off as a separate tovNiiship 
and at that time given the name of the village 



situated within its limits. The region had been 
known unfavorably among the very early set- 
tlers, who were loath to take up the land and 
make their homes upon it. This was on account 
of the first settlement made, which was in 1836 
by John Brodie, who was a native of Ohio and a 
relative of the dreaded Driseoll family, and for 
whom the Grove near which he lived was named. 
'\^^lethe^ or not he actually assisted these ma- 
rauders of the early pioneer days, to have them 
frequent his house and be a kin to them placed 
a ban upon him and a fear of his connection with 

Perhaps for this reason the first resident did 
not find his location to his liking, and sold his 
claim to David Worden. In 1840 the claim again 
changed owners, being purchased by Elias Snive- 
ly. Henry Sharer and Captain Nathaniel Swing- 
ley, who had come to the county with the colo- 
nists from Maryland, and had remained awhile 
with that group of people about Jlount Morris. 
Captain Swingley lived long enough in the Mount 
Morris region to leave as a memento, a fine row 
of hard maples along the old stage road in front 
of the place now the property of Mr. Charles V. 

Henry Sharer's Story of Early Settlement. 
—At the time of the preparation of the Ogle 
County History of 1886, Mr. Henry Sharer, then 
of Mount Morris, furnished to the writers of 
that work some of the following facts which are 
incorporated in this chapter : 

"Snively and I bought the claim of David Wor- 
den, and his brother, Benjamin Worden, occu- 
pied the claim as a tenant up to the time of our 
taking possession in 1841. Benjamin Worden, if 
living, is at South Grove, DeKalb County. Baltz 
Niehoff and family were employed by Suively 
and myself, as we were both unmarried at the 
time. He remained with us alwut two years, 
and then moved to Carroll County. We then 
employed Frederick Finkboner and family, who 
lived with us up to my marriage in 1845. From 
1841 to 1849 we had no neighbors short of South 
Grove, which was seven and a half miles, and we 
were the only family in the present township of 
Dement. In 1849 we rented our claim to Rod- 
ney Burnett and Mr. Stevenson, his brother-in- 
law. Part of the time while living there. Frink 
& Walker ran a line of stages from Chicago to 
Galena, good four-horse coaches, and on that 
thoroughfare our cabin was the only house in 
24 miles. From Huntley's, now Dekalb City, to 

our place was 12 miles, and the next house was 
at Paine's Point, which was 12 miles. I can't 
tell auytliing about marriages or births ; but the 
first death in the township was that of a son of 
Brodie, who died in 1839 and was buried at the 
Grove. I presume there is no mark of his grave 
left. Tou can put as the first settlers the Bro- 
dies ; next, Benjamin Worden : then Elias Snive- 
ly and Henry Sharer, with Niehoff as tenant ; 
then Frederick Finkboner, then Burnett and 
Stevenson, and next Wm. Youngs, and follow- 
ing him Samuel Brock. 

"In 1850, Thomas Smith came from Canada 
and occupied the farm of Nathaniel Swingley 
during his absence in California. He soon after- 
ward entered land for himself and was recog- 
nized as one of the leading citizens of the town- 
ship. 'VVTien the postoffiee was established at the 
Grove, he was made Postmaster and was the first 
in the village: was also the first station agent. 
Mr. Smith died some years ago. In 1854, vrtien 
Barzilla Knapp located in the region, the fol- 
lowing named comprised the actual settlers, so 
far as I can :'emember : at and around Brortie's 
Grove were Josiah Snively, Nathaniel Swing- 
ley. Thomas Smith, Josiah Hurd, Levi and Hor- 
ace Howard, Robert P. Benson.' In the south- 
west corner of the township, near the present 
city of Rochelle, were E. G. Vaile, Thomas S. 
Smith, James E. Rice. During this year Norman 
Paine and William Knapp came in. locating in 
the Grove where two years previously they had 
entered land. 

"The completion of the railroad in 1854 caused 
a large immigration to this section the follow- 
ing year. The prairie land, which had so long 
been vacant, was rapidly taken up and in a 
short time the whole face of the country was 
changed. The settlement was made so rapidly 
that it is impossible to mention the names of 
those who located in the township in 1855 and 
1856. Dwelling houses, school-houses, churches 
and other buildings went up as if by magic. 
Eighteen years had passed away since the first 
settlement made in the township before any 
great improvement had been made, and now 
what a change! 

"A postoffiee was established at Brodie's Grove 
about 1852, with Thomas Smith as Postmaster. 
When the village of Dement was laid out Mr. 
Smith moved the office to the village and con- 
tinued to serve as Postmaster until 1856 or 1857, 
when Anson Barnum was appointed. Mr. Bar- 



num did not serve long and was succeeded by 
H. H. Clark, and he by G. W. Place. In 1S69 
Charles E. Adams was appointed and served un- 
til the summer of 1885, when Charles E. Coun- 
tryman was apjK)inted. 

•'The first religious services were held at the 
house of Josiah Snively by Rev. Miller, a Bap- 
tist minister, and also by Rev. Chester, a min- 
ister of the Congregational Church. About the 
time the railroad was completed the Rev. Todd, 
an Episcopalian, held services at the house of 
Thomas Smith. Mr. Todd located at Dement, 
now Creston village. 

"The first school, it is said, was taught by 
George Swingley at the house of Nathaniel 
Swingley. The first school house was erected at 
Brodie's Grove in 1855, Miss Cummin^ teaching 
the fii-st term. About this time the township 
was divided into two school districts, Xo. 1 com- 
prising all north, and No. 2 all south of the 
railroad. Other districts were subsequently or- 
ganized from these, school houses were built. 
K and in every respect Dement Township will com- 
pare favorably with all others in the county in 
respect to educational matters." 

One of the early teachers in the Dement school 
^ furnishes the following interesting reminiscent 
sketch regarding some of the first instructors : 

"The first school-house in the little town was 
built ip 1857, a frame building, 26 by .32 feet in 
size, where church services were held for about 
nine years. The first teacher in the new building 
was William Wallace Washburn, who, in 1856, 
at the age of nineteen, had come west from his 
home in Woodstock, Vt. Mr. Washburn after- 
wards graduated at Ann Arbor and became Pres- 
dent of the State University of Minnesota, but 
gave up the position and went back to join the 
Detroit Conference. To-day, at the age of sev- 
enty, he is one of the leading Methodist Episco- 
pal preachers in Detroit. 

"During the years of 1856-60 many families 
from the East settled in the little village, among 
whom were Alexander Parmele and Walter Rickey 
from Lima, N. Y., in the spring of 1858. A young 
daughter, Mai-y L. Rickey, aged fourteen, began 
In 1859 to assist Mr. Washburn by having some 
of the pupils recite in the back part of the 
school-room. As a result of her services, at the 
end of the year, a present of a ten-dollar gold 
piece was sent to her. the most precious piece 
of money she ever possessed before or since that 
time! Before very long a room was built on 

the south side of the school-house and she was 
installed the firet and only assistant, receiving 
good wages for a period of eight years. She was 
not a college graduate, her only means of ad- 
vancement being her studying outside of school 
hours and reciting to her teacher after the day's 
work was done ; and probably, if she had been re- 
quired to pass an examination, she would never 
have received the two 'certificates' which are in 
her possession, and are precious keepsakes. The 
first one (a second grade) was given by Eldridge 
W. Little, then Superintendent of Ogle County 
Schools, when he visited her school in 1862 ; and 
in 1865. when H. B. Norton, of Stillman Valley, 
was the 'School Commissioner.' his assistant, 
W. T. Payzant. on visiting the school, filled out 
a first-grade certificate, valid for two years, at 
the end of which time her place was filled by her 
worthy successor." ("The little elf. Love him- 
self," having intertwined his lessons among the 
others "after the day's work was done." this 
young teacher became the "assistant," for life, of 
her teacher's brother, Warren A. Washburn.) 

"A new school building was erected in 1869," 
continues the sketch, "after which three or more 
teachers were employed, and to-day the town of 
Creston (formerly Dement) feels justly proud of 
her public school, which is one of the best in 
Ogle County. P. R. Walker (now of Rockford). 
E. L. Wells and J. T. Greenman (both now in 
Aurora ) , are among the many excellent teachers 
who have assisted in the Creston School in past 

The present senior editor of the "Ogle County 
Republican" wrote not long ago, in the follow- 
ing reminiscent and humorous vein, of one of 
the former schools of Dement To^niship: "A 
news item from the 'Rochelle Register' carries 
the 'Republican' editor back several years, to 
ISM. when Mrs. Urilla Clark, a daughter of the 
late Captain Nathaniel Swingley, one of the 
earliest pioneers of Ogle County, was teaching 
the school at Brodie's Grove, and had among her 
pupils many who have since become famous for 
one thing and another — principally the latter — 
the editor of this religious journal being one of 
the bright lights of that generation, having just 
prior to that date landed over on the prairie two 
miles east of the grove . . . following the long, 
tedious journey from southwestern Missouri to 
Ogle County with an ox-team as the only means 
of ti-ansportation : and we recollect with satis- 
faction ■ our pleasant relations in the Brodie's 



Grove School, presided over at that time by Mrs. 
Clark. The school has since been abandoned, 
school-house sold and the district added to the 
Creston school district." 

The teachers of the Creston School at the pres- 
ent time are H. V. Lynn, Principal; Miss Eva 
N. Perkins and Miss Cora A. Reese, assistants, 
with an extra teacher usually during the winter 

Some Later Settlers. — Among the settlers in 
this and Lyunville Townships about the year 
1858, were the Countryman brothers, of whom 
Norman, Harve.v and Alvin are now living re- 
tired in Rochelle. The creamery, on the north 
Hue, once operated by them, is no longer in busi- 
ness. Upton Swingley, son of Nathaniel Swing- 
ley, lives in Rockford ; and many others of the 
old settlers are gone — some moved away and 
some not living. Their places have, in many In- 
stances, been taken by the Norwegians who first 
began to settle to the south in Lee County, about 
1857, where they established a Lutheran church 
as their place of worship. These later settlers 
have made good citizens, being like the Germans, 
industrious, saving and thrifty, and now possess- 
ing many of the rich prairie farms that have 
proved so productive and valuable; these lands, 
once looked uix)n as worth so much less than the 
coveted timber land, now bringing fi-om $100 to 
.$150 an acre with their improvements. The 
names of these Norwegian settlers may toe seen 
likewise among the business people of the village 
of Creston, showing that they have taken a per- 
manent place in this part of the life of the 
township, also. Among those well-known among 
the early settlers still residing in the township 
are Dr. H. C. Robins, A. B. McCrea, and Charles 
E. Adams, each one of whom has a member of 
his family residing in the city ol Oregon, two of 
them being the present County Clerk and his 
wife, and another the wife of the recent States 

Brodie's Grove, once the designation of the 
region, and a fine tract containing walnut and 
hickory, exists mostly but in name, the ti'ees 
having been cut dowm to supply the needs of the 
people, with the same disregard of the future as 
has been shown everywhere else all over the 
broad domains of our country, until in very re- 
cent years. Soft maples and willows, usually 
for hedges and wind-brakes, are the inferior 
present-day substitutes for the stately trees of 
that forest gi'ove. 

A Land Speculation. — Messrs. Truman & 
Hewitt, a firm of lawyers of Owego, N. Y., were 
closely connected with the early development of 
the town^ip. They bought up many tracts of 
land In this part of Ogle County, as well as In 
Lee and Dekalb Counties, ahead of the coming 
of the railroad, at $1.25 per acre. This land was 
then sold by them on time to the various pur- 
chasers wishing to make homes upon it. This 
firm had their office with "Uncle Tommy" Smith, 
who had general charge of their affairs. Twice 
a year the members of the Owego firm would 
come to settle up, take their interest, give deeds, 
etc. It IS said by one who remembers these oc- 
casions that people would come from all around 
the region in their wagons, till it appeared like 
a camp meeting assembly. The "absentee land- 
lords," of course, got rich and were dubbed by 
the disaffected as "land grabbers," though there 
were not many persons who were not accommo- 
dated in some manner ; and when the panic of 
1873 came, this firm kept right on as before and 
was really of much valuable assistance to the 

Dement Changed to Creston. — The postofflce 
was at first called Dement, but there being a 
Beraent in Piatt County, much trouble with the 
mail ensued, so the name was changed to Cres- 
ton. This was at the suggestion of Mr. E. L. 
Wells, on account of the site being held to be the 
highest point on the latitudinal line between 
Chicago and the Mississippi. Mr. Wells pre- 
pared the petition to the General Assembly for 
the change of name, which occurred in 1869. 

Business Enterprises. — One of the most thriv- 
ing industries of Creston Is a tile factory, w-here 
.an excellent quality of drain tile is manufac- 
tured, which is shipped in addition to nearby 
points, as far from the plant as West Chicago 
and Morris. A good red brick is also made. The 
factory was established in 1882, the company 
0T^•ning a tract of 28 acres, at the edge of Cres- 
ton, where the clay for the process is obtained. 
Asa Dimon. now of Oregon, but formerly of 
Creston, and who for tw-o terms filled the office 
of County Treasurer, is President of the Creston 
Tile Company, and W. H. Dickinson is the Sec- 
retary and Treasurer. As the wet fields of the 
countj-, and the original "swamp lands" have 
been, and continue to be tiled, there Is a con- 
stant demand at home for such factory products. 

Another flourishing industry is the creamery 


vjf jsiif m 




built about twelve years ago by Guller Brothers 
of Dekalb, and operated by tbem in connection 
with a number of others in different localities. 
This is now owned by Peter Nelson, and fine 
butter is made, the region roundabout being a 
good dairying country, and milk being brought 
to the creamery from twelve miles away. 

The "creamery on the north line," previously 
alluded to. was a busy industry while it was in 
operation. It was called the "Countryman & 
Co. Creamery,'" and was organized about 1S70 
as a stock company by Alvin, Norman, and Har- 
vey Countryman, and R. P. Benson, and made at 
first Limberger cheese. In 1S7G it was changed 
to a creamery alone, and produced from 30,000 
to 40,000 pounds of butter yearly, which was 
shipped mostly to New i'ork City. 

There are two elevators along the line of rail- 
way, one operated by Dickinson & Lewis, the 
other, by ilartin Kennedy. A fine grain busi- 
ness is done by the Creston elevators, consider- 
able corn and oats being shipped. 

Among the business houses of the village are 
the dry-goods stores of Eman Oakland and R. E. 
Bowles. The post-oflice is in charge of Dr. H. 
C. Robins, who looks after its duties in connec- 
tion with his drug store. 

Creston has quite a satisfactory Opera House, 
which might do credit to a larger place. It was 
built about 3875 by a stock company at a cost 
of about S9,000, and is a paying investment. It 
IS a two-story brick building, the upper- floor 
being used as the Woodmen Hall. The first floor 
is fltted with a well-appointed stage, and the 
room has a seating capacity of between three 
and four hundred. 

'The Creston Times," which was founded in 
1S72 by Isaac B. Bickford, is now published in 
Malta by the "Malta Record," the publishers of 
which issue "a Creston edition," which is called 
the "Creston Observer." The paper since its 
first issue has had a number of different editors 
and publishers, among them have been Dr. H. C. 
Robins, D. C. Needham, G. W. Morris & Son. 

Village Offi< lrs. — lu 1807 the village was in- 
corporated under a special charter, and Thomas 
Smith was elected President; Joseph White. G. 
W. Place. A. B. McCrea, Daniel Diraon. Trustees ; 
G. W. Allen, Clerk. In 1870 it was voted to in- 
corporate under the General Act. In 1886 the 
officers were R. G. Swan, President; J. P. Lord, 
A. H. Taylor, WMIiam .T. Mettler, Z. A. Landers 

(now editor of the "Ogle County Republican"), 
(Jeorge Thompson, Trustees; Charles Sheffer, 
Clerk. At present A. B. McCrea is President. 
and George Edwinson is Clerk. 

Local Churches. — There are three religious 
denominations in Creston. The Congregational 
Cliurch, organized in 1850. by the Rev. Plavel 
I'.ascom, Agent of the Illinois Missionary Associa- 
tion, with fourteen members; edifice erected in 
ISdC, and a parsonage later. The Rev. G. L. 
McDougal is now the pastor. The Methodist 
lOpiscopal Church was organized at Brodie's 
(irove in 1857 by the Rev. .John Nait, with nine 
iiicinl)ers; house of worship erected at the village 
In isilij. The present pastor is the Rev. .J. W. 
Parks. The Norwegian Lutheran Church was 
nrganized about 1870. the house of worship be- 
ing erected in 1871, at a cost of $3,000. The Rev. 
K. O. Hill was the first pastor ; the present pas- 
tor is the Rev. K. O. Ettreim and the church has 
a congregation of aljout 4.50. 

The population of Creston numbers between 
400 and 500. The village is lighted by kerosene 
street lamps set upon the old-time posts. From 
a well 400 feet in depth, under village manage- 
ment, is pumped by gasoline engine the public 
water supply. 

Township Officers. — Since the organization 
of the township the following have been Sui>er- 
visors : Nathan Swingley, lS5li ; Anson Baruum. 
lS57-(>0: Barzilla Kuapp, 1801; Anson Baruum. 
1802-04; Edward L. Wells. 1805; Alliert Lewis. 
1S6G; Robert J. Rickey. ISO"; Anson Baruum, 
1868; Alfred B. McCrea, 1809-70; Asa Dimon. 
1871-72; Upton Swingley, 1873-74; .John A. Mc- 
Crea, 1875-76; Joseph White, 1S77-8G ; Prank B. 
Gale. 1887-80; Daniel Dimon, 1890; R. E. 
Bowles, 1898-90; William J. Mentor, 1900-03; H. 
J. Cleveland. 1904-OS. 

The other officers of the township for 1908 are : 
Town Clerk, George Edwinson; Assessor, Wil- 
liam J. Somers; Tax Collector, Daniel Dimon; 
Justices of the Peace, W. C. Kempson, John M. 
Aska ; Constable, John Vanstone ; Highway Com- 
missioners. Thomas Perkins, Boyd Ritchie, Ed- 
ward Hanueman ; School Treasurer, S. O. Swain. 

(By J. W. Clinton.) 
Eagle Point Township, situated in the .south- 
west corner of Ogle County, originally consti- 



tuted a part ot Buffalo Tovvuship, from which 
it was set apart by act of the Board of Super- 
visors ill Septemlier, 1869, afterward approved 
by the legal voters and the first Board of town 
officers elected in April, 1S70. It is bounded on 
the north by Brookville Township, on the east 
by Buffalo, by Whiteside County on the south 
and Carroll County on the west. Like Brook- 
ville Township immediately north, it consists of 
eighteen sections — three in width from east to 
west, and six in length from north to south. 
Eagle Point, on the western border, is the only 
village in the township, though Hazelhurst. .-i 
station on the Chicago, Burlington & Quiney 
Railroad, just west of the Carroll County line, 
•'s a hamlet in what is known as Elkhorn Grove, 
.'ocated in part in Eagle Point Township. 

At an early date Eagle Point was quite a 
business center. Michael Ayers made chairs, 
spinning wheels, reels and swifts and other fur- 
niture and hand-rakes and probably grain cradles. 
There was probably a blacksmith shop there as 
early as 1S40 or even earlier. Mason Crary set- 
tled here in 1S40, and established a store later, 
which he conducted as late as 18C.5 or 1866. In 
184.5, John Anderson had a wagon shop at Eagle 
Point. In the early 'forties. Mason & Beech 
Crary had quite a, buying, curing and 
selling pork on the market. Later, Mason Crary 
Kinned leather and manufactured sheepskin over- 
coats and gloves. In the "fifties, John Horner 
had a two-story shop in which he manufactured 
sash, doors and furniture. In 18.51 Henry Elsey 
came here. 

In its early history Xaaman Spencer had a 
coopfcr shop where lie manufactured flour and 
poi'k barrels, some of which were used at Wil 
son's mill and at Fulton. As early as 185.5, 
Naamaii Spencer. Jr., ran a thre.shlng machine 
vi'ith a Gate's steam-engine for power, probably 
the first so used in the United States. He was 
the inventor and builder of several kinds of 
agricultural machines, among them being the 
long straw carrier, the side elevator for thresh- 
ing machines, and the Spencer gang-plows. Ot 
the latter, he manufactured a large number 
which were sold over a wide extent of territory. 
In 1870, the demand for this plow exceeded the 
supply. The region is a .strictly agricultural one. 
Churches. — Alx)ut 1852, Rev. Jeremiah Ken- 
oyer, a United Brethren Evangelical preacher, 
neld a protracted meeting in the old schoolhouse 
at Eagle Point. Under his preaching many were 

led to join the church, which he organized at the 
close of his meetings. Among the members were 
these old pioneers, Pearson Shoemaker and his 
wife. For the next five years, services were 
held in the schoolhouse at Eagle Point, or at 
Mr. Shoemaker's house and in his big barn. In 
1856, when Rev. W. T. Bunton was in charge, 
Mr. Shoemaker was the leading man in building 
the brick church, as it was then known, although 
now the brick is not visible, as it is sided over. 
Mr. Shoemaker bauled most of the brick for the 
building himself, and to carry the enterprise to 
completion, he assumed a considerable part of 
the expense, for which he was never re-iinbursed. 
The church was not completed until the autumn 
of 1857, when it was dedicated by Bishop Davis. 
The task of raising the money to pay for the 
building fell to the lot of Rev. Bunton, who wa? 
more than successful. This church is now a part 
of the Col eta charge, and services are held there 
once in two weeks. A Sundaj- school is main- 
tained at the church. The cemetery adjoining 
this church, where many of the early pioneers 
are resting, was established years before the 
church was built. 

The Rev Silas Jessnp came to Eagle Point 
as a farmer and pastor of the newly formed 
church of tbe Presbyterian faitb at Elkhorn 
(Jrove, at an early date, was an active preacher 
from 1846 to 1855, and the Presbyterian church 
at Eagle Point was built under his charge. 
During all of his pastorate, his salary was prob- 
ably not more than .$400 per year, and this was 
partly paid by the Home Mission Board of the 
Church, and the balance by the local church. 

The first camp meeting in Ogle County was 
undoubtedly held in Elkhorn Grove in the fall 
of 18.^6. The preachers were Rev, AUred Bron- 
son. P. E. W. Wigley of Galena, C. D James, M. 
Shunk ami James McKean. 

Witliout doubt Samuel M. L'ellows taught in 
tbe family of Jobii Ankney in Elkhorn Grove, in 
the winter of ]S.''.4-)'>5, and was the iirst teacher 
of this locality. 

On July 7, 1873. tbe Eagle Point Mutual Fire 
Insurance Company was organized, with Abram 
Higley as President, and Henry Elsey as Secre- 
tary, and the latter still holds that office. 

Postoffices formerly existed at Eagle Point and 
Elkhorn Grove, the former established July 31, 
1848, with Mason Crary as Postmaster, and the 
latter December 31, 1848, with Joseph Gorgas as 
I'ostniaster, but both were discontinued in 1900, 



the territory now being supplied by tbe Rural 
Free Delivery System. Henry Elsey was the 
list Postmaster at Eagle Point and Fred Berge- 
rnan at Elkhorn Grove. 

Township Officeks. — The following persons 
have served as members of the Board of Super- 
visors for Eagle Point Township: Wm. Donald- 
son. lSTl-72: John Nichols. 1S73 ; Wm. Donald- 
son. 1874 : Daniel W. Newcomer, 1875-81 ; George 
Poole, 1882-92; Johnson Lawrence, 189,3 to De- 
cember, 1902; Russell S. Nichols, December, 
1902. to April, 1903; James D. Ander, 1903-08. 

The other officers for the township in 1908 
were : Town Clerk, Allen S. Elsey ; Assessor. 
John Eckerd ; Collector. Adelbert Bellows ; Com- 
missioner of Hichways. Andv P. Shoemaker. 

(By William P. Landon. Esq.) 
The first settlement in Flagg Township was 
made three years after the Black Hawk War, 
in 18-3.5. Previous to that time the only inhab- 
itants had been roving bands of Indians betn-een 
the Illinois River and the Kishwaukee. As these 
tribes passed over the prairies, they camped in 
the groves on the same spots year after year and 
they left their lodge poles standing. As late as 
1845 traces of the Ottawas could thus be seen. 
and of the Pottawatomies in Jefferson Grove in 

First Settlers. — Jephtha Noe was the first 
permanent settler in March, 1836, in Flagg Town- 
ship, at Jefferson Grove, on what is now 
the Ed. Leonard farm, a little to the 
north and west of the road going out to "Klon- 
dike," the summer picnic grounds, on the Os- 
borne Randall farm, of a small club of Rochelle 
men, and there built a log cabin one and one- 
half stories high with roof of "shakes," "pun 
cheon" floor and chimney of split sticks. Wil- 
liam Cochrane came next and settled near Mr. 
Noe in September, 1836, bringing later in the 
fall his family, consisting of his wife, his son 
Homer, afterward a doctor; liis daughter, Mrs. 
Lucy Lake, a widow, who afterward married 
W. P. Flagg, her son Oscar M. Lake, who is still 
living in Rochelle, being the oldest settler in 
this region; his second daughter, Julia Anne, 
who married A. S. Hoadley. Mr. Cochrane's 
cabin was large enough for religious worship 

and was often so used after the settlers became 
more numerous. Amos Hubbard, an old man, 
and John Hayes, a young man, worked for Mr. 
Cochrane at this time, Hayes chopping wood and 
cutting rails at $S a month. Mr. Hayes was the 
father of David H. and Emery C. Hayes, and be- 
came a prosperous farmer in the north part of 
the Township. In 1837, John Randall, with his 
sons, George, John and James P.. WilUam P., 
Ira and "tt'esley, and ttuee daughters, Sarah, 
Margaret and Mabala, built a log cabin on Main 
Street on the north side of the creek a little 
southeast of the Henzie house. This was the 
first house in Hickory Grove. The next year, 
18.38, came Sheldon Bai-tholomew and Willard P. 
Flagg and bought Randall's claim for .$1,500, and 
Randall moved to Jefferson Grove, purchasing 
the claim of a Mr. Jarvis. Bartholomew and 
Flagg lived together in the Randall cabin until 
1839, when Flagg built a cabin north of the 
Riley lot in the middle of the present Avenue 
C. near South Main Street. These two men di- 
vided the Randall claim, which extended indef- 
initely on both sides of the creek. Flagg taking 
all on the south side, while Bartholomew took 
that on the north. 

In July. 1839. Mr. Flagg and Mrs. Lucy Lake 
were married and she and her son Oscar, who 
was then about seven years old, lived in the new 
home of Mr. Flagg. In 1838 Hiram Leonard 
came to Jefferson Grove and married Sarah, a 
daughter of John Randall, and settled on the 
farm which Edward Leonard now ov\'ns. Mr. 
Leonard had come to Washington Grove in Feb- 
ruary, 1835, where Charles, Richard and Thomas 
Aikens and David Maxwell settled the same 
spring. William Howe also settled at Jefferson 
Grove and married Margaret Randall. In the 
year 1840 there were about a dozen or fifteen 
more settlers in Flagg Township. At this time 
the settlement near Jefferson Grove contained 
several more people than that at Hickory Grove 
and the former was called "Skunk Town," not 
Itecause of the jieople. but because of the large 
number of skunks killed there at one time. 
Among these early settlers were: Mr. Pembrock. 
who settled first on a swamp farm near Brush 
Grove, and soon moved just north of Rochelle on 
the old Lane farm and built a log-cabin just east 
of Morris Clark's present residence : Josiah 
Steele, near Kyte River on the north road ; Cum- 
mings Noe, Job Rathbun, Bradley Wright, and 
his father on the west side of Jefferson Grove ; 



Samuel Huntley and his son Asa, and another 
son, Francis Huntley, near them ; Benjamin 
Rathbun, west of Jefferson Grove ; Paul Taylor 
and Nelson Hill, near the Randalls, all settled 
near Jefferson Grove about 1840. Simeon Ches- 
ter and Jlills Steward came in 1843, Hiram T. 
Minkler and Richard H. Beers took claims in 
184.5 south of the Flagg farm. Mr. Minkler 
built the first frame dwelling in the Township. 
Mr. Beers married Miss Dollie Rathbun, and' 
both are living on their original claim south of 
Rochelle. Constant N. Reynolds, his father, 
Searl, and brothers, Davis, Tupper and Simeon 
all settled northwest of the present town in 1&40. 
The first grave in the Township was that of Lu- 
ra Reynolds, the little daughter of Constant Rey- 
nolds, and the next was that of Sheldon Bar- 
tholomew, who died December 9. 1846. Neces- 
sary brevity forbids further mention of the other 
early settlers. 

The early settlers had no extra hardships to 
endure. The supplies were at first purchased at 
Hennepin in Putnam County. There were also 
small stores at Daysville, Grand Detour and 
Oregon before a store was started at Hickory 
Grove, but the principal trading point was of 
course Chicago, and here the farmers sold their 
grain. Constant Reynolds and Harmon Minkler 
first introduced sheep-raising and many sheep 
were killed by wolves and other wild animals. 

Indian Visitors.— Until 18.o0 this region was 
regularly visited by a band of Indians who 
camped at Jefferson Grove. They traded from 
be.vond the Mississippi River to the Govern- 
ment Station at Milwaukee. They numbered 
from twelve to sevent.v-five. They were peace- 
able and friendly to the whites, with whom 
they had some dealings in provisions. The 
wellknown Indian Chief Shabbona, who lived 
at Shabbona Grove, caine to these parts fre- 
quently. This region was very little molested 
by the notorious Driscoll family who lived north 
of Flagg Township. 

The Rathbun Bridge was one of the first to l)e 
built across Kyte River. A stage line ran from 
Chicago through Flagg Centre and then south to 
Dixon. Other stage lines along Rock River 
touched at Daysville. The health of the pioneers 
was excellent. Dr. John H. Roe. of Lighthouse 
Point, and Dr. Lyman King, west of Jefferson 
Grove, practised medicine throughout these 

Rochelle Hi.'iTOEY.— The first settlement of 
Rochelle was called Hickory Grove from the 
large number or' hickory trees in the grove — • 
and possibly some pine trees, as it was 
early called "Loblolly Grove" — the location being 
on the south side of Kyte Creek, near the cor- 
ner of South ilain Street and Avenue C. and near 
the present residence of John Riley, Jr. This 
hamlet was the only collection of houses in this 
locality and consisted of three or four log cabins, 
a store and a blacksmith shop, up to 1853 when 
the Northwestern Railroad was built In this 
.vear, some capitalists from Rockford, R. P. LaBe, 
T. D. Robertson and Gilbert Palmer, bought a 
large tract of land from "Aunt" Charlotte Bar- 
tholomew, widow of Sheldon Bartholomew, and 
platted that ixirtion now known as the original 
town of Lane, after one of the owners. During 
the building of the railroad, some stores located 
in the region of the present business district and 
the hamlet of Lane started. The Village of Lane 
was incorporated by act of the General Assembly, 
February 22. 1861. In 1865-66 a bill was passed 
changing the name of the Village to Rochelle, 
and on April 10. 1872, by election the Village was 
changed to the City of Rochelle. 

Coming of 'iHf First Railboad. — The great 
event of the lime was the building of the 
"Dixon Air-Line." a branch of the Galena 
& Chicago Union Railroad. Great rivalry existed 
as to the route it should take. The name "Air- 
Line Railroad" was jeered at by the residents 
of the county-seat as the "Gas-Line Railroad.'' 
Work was prosecuted with vigor and on January 
14, 18.54, the last rail was laid. Upon the com- 
pletion of the railroad a banquet was held at the 
Laue Hotel, run by Horace Coon. An original 
song composed by William Cochrane and his 
daugSiter, Mrs. A. S. Hoadley, and W. P. and 
Lucius Flagg, was given by the then well-known 
singers : Constance Reynolds, Sidney and A. S. 
Hoadley, and W. P. and Lucius Flagg. A train 
of excursionists from Chicago had been expected 
to take part in the festivities, but in the evening 
word came that their engine had broken dowB, 
and so baskets of provisions were sent them by 
means of a wagon. Lane was the terminus of 
the railroad until the following year and John 
R. Hotaling ran a stage from Lane to Dixon, 
At this time Lane had a boom and stores and 
dwellings multiplied rapidly. 



Business Development. — The first store was 
iu a little log cabin, which had been a 
part of Mr. Coehrane"s house at Jefferson 
Grove, and was hauled over and placed 
near the river opposite Mr. Flagg's house on the 
Southworth land. Bruin Walker was the first 
store-keeper. Lucius Flagg ran a blacksmith 
shop in a shanty a little west of the south end 
of the present bridge. During the summer of 
185.3, M. J. Woodw-ard kept a general store in 
the house which Lucius Flagg vacated. Cus- 
tomers had to find Mr. Woodward and then he 
would unlock the store and serve them. After 
the railroad was built business moved rapidly in- 
to the present district. The first house was 
erected in Lane In August. 1853, by Isaac Ross, 
on Second Street, between Main and Washington. 
A shanty with a car-roof was the second Iniild- 
ing but first store, built in 1853 and located 
about on the southeast corner of the Neola Ele- 
vator Company's lumber yard and owned by 
•Johnson Brothers. The groceries were mixed, 
wet goods predominating, and the resort was 
called "The Shades." The Lane Hotel, the fore- 
runner of the Hotel Delos, and the third build- 
ing, was built in 1853 by Horace Coon and con- 
ducted by him for several years. Mr. Kendall 
next was "mine host" till 1858 or 1859, when he 
was succeeded by Col D. C. May from Rockford. 
David B. Stiles in 1853 built the fourth building 
and conducted a general store in the vicinity of 
John Rae's. Henry Burliugim in 1854 began 
business in a small building with a car-roof 
called the "ark,"" on Washington Street .lust north 
of Evans & Barber's seed-store. In 1856 he built 
a store on the site of Bert Baxter's furniture 
store and conducted the first real grocery store 
with Miles J. Braiden as a partner. The same 
year. J. B. Barber built just east of the present 
People's Bank a rival store and did a rushing 
business, with Oscar M. Lake and J. S. Patchin 
as clerks. Barber formed a partnership with 
.John R. Hotaling at the end of the year, and 
in 1856 the "Republican Block." or the corner 
brick," was erected by them on the site of the 
People's Bank. Before the building was finished 
the firm was dissolved and Major Hotaling took 
the building and Barber moved into a new store 
on the west side of Washington Street, one of 
"I^ovejoy's Row." which was destroyed by the 
first large fire of 1860. "Jerry" Barber also 
dealt in coal, furniture, bought grains and be- 
came .the leading merchant of Lane, enjoying the 

confidence of the community aud being a very 
popular man. He failed in business later and 
died in 1872, having lost both his money and his 
friends. The "corner brick." called the "Repub- 
lican Block," is an old land mark and was first oc- 
cupied by Frank and Milo Cass as a general store, 
they being succeeded by Barber & Co. Brownell 
Brothers, Lawrence and Will, opened a general 
store in the building in 1861 and did a large bus- 
iness. After 1871 it was successively occupied by 
Francis Glenn & Co., Shinkle & Co., Aaron Cass, 
Edward Brownell, Morgan & Heintz. In 1904 it 
was rebuilt into a modern banking house by 
Baxter & Hathaway for the People's Loan & 
Trust Company. Other business men from 1857 
to 1869, were Huglies & Frisbee, drj-goods; 
Thornton Beatty, A. H. Fields & Jud.son F. Bur- 
roughs, John F. Nettleton, and I. M. Mallory, 
lumber ; James S. Patchin, general merchant ; 
George E. Turkington & Thomas Padgett, and M. 
T Ellinwood. hanlware ; Kuight & Bennett, Clark 
& Dana and J. L. Putnam, druggists : R. W. Por- 
ter, furniture, 

Delos A. Baxter was the pioneer harnessmaker, 
starting his shop on the present site of the New 
Rochelle Hotel. He also ran a hotel iu connec- 
tion with his harness business. Mr. S. J. Par- 
ker started a harness shop in 1860 and continued 
until recently, and now- has retired but is com- 
pleting his eighteenth year as Supervisor. Jo- 
seph Parker, who was a delegate from Ogle Coun- 
ty to the State Constitutional Conventions of 1869- 
70, conducted a book aud stationery business in 
Rochelle up to his death in December. 1908. Dr. 
D. W. C. Vaile came to Lane to practise at about 
the time of the opening of the railroad. Dr. 
Reed came in 1857, and Dr. W. W. Gould opened 
an office in 1860 and is still in active practice. 

(iRAix Trade — Elevators. — The gr.iin trade 
at Lane was important on account of the 
fertile farming region surrounding the vil- 
lage. The first ele-vator was erected by 
James Smith, and was situated on the lot south 
of A. Phelps' hardware store. Boyce c& Bump 
operated this elevator until it was destroyed in 
the second large fire in May, 1861. A large ele- 
vator was built by Spaulding and Hotaling on 
the lot just west and was occupied by Lake & 
Blackman when it was destroyed by the same 
fire while filled with grain. O. M. Lake, the 
head of the firm, being in Chicago attending the 
funeral services of Stephen A. Douglas. The old 



fievator east of tbe present Sullivan livery was 
built by Mallory & MeConaughy, and tbe stone 
elevator by M. J. Braiden & Henry Burlingim 
about 1860. In 18G3 the elevator north of the 
Chicago & Northwestern Railway on Washington 
Street, was built by a company and Shockley & 
Phelps placed in charge. The elevator north of 
the Chicago, Burlington & Qulncy Railway on 
Washington Street, was built in 1872 by Shock- 
ley & Company. 

PosTOFFicE History. — Prior to 1854 the Post- 
office was called Story and was located south of 
the river in Hickory Grove. It was next moved 
a mile north at the Birdsell corners and kept by 
Alba O. Hall. In 1854 this was abandoned and 
Lane became tbe postotHce, and D. B. Stiles first 
Postmaster. Others who have served as Post- 
masters, with date of appointment, are : 1857. J. 
B. Barber : ISCil. C. B. Boyce ; 1869, Major Hotal- 
ing : 1884. H. H. Glenn. George W. Dieus Is the 
present Postmaster. 

The old store of Joseph Parker has given place 
to the fine new Stocking building, the first floor 
of which is used as the postoflice, the second 
floor as offices, and the third floor as the Masonic 
Hall and ante-rooms. Four rural mail routes 
run out from Rochelle and free delivery of mail 
in the city has just been established. 

Fires — A Lynching Episode. — There have 
been three destructive flres in Rochelle. The 
first two occurred so closely together on Decem- 
ber 22, 1860, and June 7, 1861, as to cause sus- 
picion that an incendiary was trying to destroy 
the town. Nearly all the business buildings on 
the west side of Washington Street were con- 
siipied in the first, and in the second the row of 
grain houses and elevatore between the north 
side of the track and the alley, from the comer 
brick to the stone elevator. This was just after 
the war and excitement ran high, a public meet- 
ing was held, a committee of Investigation ap- 
pointed and a detective emplo.ved. A man by 
the name of Thomas D. Burke, a suspicious char- 
acter in sympathy with the South and of ec- 
centric habits, was at once suspected. The de- 
tective, by pretending to be a Southerner, a bit- 
ter secessionist, an agent of Jefferson Davis, 
and even a robber, obtained Burke's confidence 
and claimed that he extracted a confession from 
Burke that he started both of the fires and de- 
signed to burn up the town entirely. Burke was 
arre.sted and a preliminary examination was held 

and the detective was the first witness, who re- 
lated in a dramatic manner, the alleged confes- 
sion of Burke of his incendiary acts and other 
fiendish deeds. After the case was closed the 
crowd called for the reading of the narrative of 
the testimony. While the Justices were making 
out the order of commitment, the prisoner was 
seized by the excited citizens, a rope placed about 
his neck and he was violently thrown feet fore- 
most from the northwest window in the third 
story of the '"corner brick." After a few brief 
struggles he was dead. The alleged coufession 
was that he was a murderer, a robber, an in- 
cendiary, and was then premeditating the mur- 
der of a youth who had incurred his hatred. 
After the lynching, grave doubts arose in tbe 
minds of many as to the guilt of Burke, and the 
citizens felt deeply the disgrace of the affair, 
and this proved one of the reasons for the change 
of name of the village from Lane to Rochelle. 
Some of the leading parties in this lynching 
were indicted and tried but cleared by the jury. 
The third great fire, on December 10, 1870, swept 
all tbe buildings from Lake's shoe-store north to 
tbe corner of Stocking's Bank. The total loss 
was estimated at $55,000. The following sum- 
mer and autumn the row was entirely rebuilt 
with brick stores of unusual excellence for that 

Railway Enterprises. — Flagg Station was es- 
tablished four miles west of Rochelle in 1866, 
and Flagg Center, on the Burlington Road, be- 
came a station In 1875. The Chicago & Iowa rail- 
road was completed from Aurora to Rochelle 
December 31, 1870, and from Rochelle to the east 
bank of Rock River opposite Oregon, April 1, 
1871. After a hot contest Flagg Township voted 
$50,000 for this road, tbe proixisition being car- 
ried by a majority of nine. By the terms upon 
which the donation was voted, the Company was 
required to complete its road into and through 
the Town of Flagg by the first day of January. 
1871 : but the first train ran only to Rochelle on 
the night before, and consequently an injunction 
was served by Isaac M. Mallory, Daniel Shock- 
ley and S. L. Bailey, to prevent the issue of 
bonds. The Northwestern Railway furnished its 
general counsel to assist these citizens, and the 
Supreme Court decided that the town meeting 
was not held according to law and. therefore, the 
bonds should not be issued. The train used to 
run one way and back the other, and went daily 




— "if the suow permitted."' The wheezy old en- 
gine "Advance"' was the butt of many a joke. 
The auditor's office and the general freight office 
of this railroad were located in Rochelle for a 
number of years. The Chicago. Roekford & 
Northwestern Railroad was c-ompleted between 
Roekford and Flagg Centre in 1ST5. 

The Rathbun Bridge was the first to be built 
over Kyte Creek in this township. When Flagg 
built his log cabin he laid out the present road 
and attempted to build a bridge, but only the 
stringers were placed in position and foot pas- 
sengers could cross on them. Later David Stiles 
built a bridge scarcely above the water's edge 
and it was swept away by a flood. Shortly be- 
fore the railroad was built a permanent bridge 
was constructed. Mills Stewart, down by the 
stone quarry, Flagg and Bartholomew occupied 
the three houses in Hickory Grove, until the 
hamlet boomed because of the building of the 
new railroad. Mr. A. Harlow was the first to 
enclose a town lot for residence purposes. Mr. 
A. S. Hoadley built a house in 1854, east of the 
Brackctt House. The old J. M. May House was 
built by J. B. Barber. In the year 1S.55 a house 
was erected by J. M. McConaugby. now occu- 
pied by Dr. J. L. Gardner. 

Schools. — ^The first school in the township was 
at Jefferson Grove and was taught by Mary 
Rathbun. having ten scholars, one-half of whom 
were Rathbun children. It began sometime in 
the first decade of settlement. The first school 
at Hickory Grove began several years later and 
Miranda Weeks was the first teacher. The first 
school-house was built on the south side of the 
creek near the residence of W. P. Flagg. Miss 
Lucy Miller taught here just before the railroad 
was built. In 18.54 a large building was erected 
just south of the Presbyterian church. The first 
teacher was Mat. Andrews and the next Miss 
Mary J. Miller, who afterwards married O. M. 
Lake. In the summer of 1858 a large school was 
built on the present school grounds. School was 
held in both houses for one year; later the old 
building was used for a grist mill. The newer 
building was burned April 7, 1869. At that time 
the school had increased so that six teachers 
were employed. Prof. A. J. Blanchard was at 
that time principal and continued for four years. 
The new school building reflects great credit 
upon the public spirit of the citizens. It is a 
large brick structure, three stories high besides 
basement, and contains eight rooms for the 

grades, a study hall and three recitation rooms 
for the High School, c-ostiug about $40,000. Prof. 
Blanchard was followed by Prof. P. R. Walker, 
Prof. Greenman, Prof. Philbrook, and Prof. C. E. 
Joiner, who now presides with much ability. The 
High School has a four years' course and its 
graduates are admitted to our leading colleges 
without further examinations. The first class 
was graduated in 1874, and since that time 397 
pupils have graduated. There are at present 
four teachers in the High School and ten teach- 
ers in the grades, besides drawing and music 
teachers. A new school building has now been 
decided upon by election, but erection has beeu 
delayed by litigation concerning the site. There 
are at present 122 pupils in the High School and 
about 430 in the grades. The Alumni Associa- 
tion of the High School is a live one and num- 
bers 372, besides 25 who have died. 

Churches. — The first religious services in the 
township were held in the log cabin of William 
Cochrane at Jefferson (4rove by Jephtlia Xoe. 
The first religious services in Lane were held 
in a passenger car in 1854. Thornton Beatty 
conducting the services. The Presbyterian 
church was organized September 1, 1854, with 
ten members ard the first meetings were held 
in the old school-house, just south of the present 
Presbyterian church. Rev. A. C. Miller was 
temporary supply the first year. Rev. S. N. Evans 
the first pastor and under his charge the first 
church edifice was built, costing about $3,000. 
Mr. Evans was killed by lightning September 
30, 1858. Rev. James McRae was pastor from 
1860 till 1862, Rev. Samuel H. Weller from 
1862 till 1870, and under his ministration there 
was a great increase in membership. Rev. T. M. 
Wilson was next pastor for a brief period, and 
then Israel Brundage served from 1874 till 1886. 
Under his pastorate the present building was 
erected at a cost of $16,000. The next succeed- 
ing pastors were the Revs. Edgar S. Williams, 
J. B. Flemming, William P. Landon and Harvey 
S. Crouse. Rev. J. S. Martin has been the pas- 
tor since May 1, 1902. During his pastorate the 
parsonage was built and the church is in a flour- 
ishing condition with a membership of about 
200. a Sunday School of over 200, an active 
Christian Endeavor Society and other organiza- 

The Methodist Episcopal Society erected its 
first church about 1858, but meetings were held 
and a church organization perfected soon after 


the completion of tbe railroad. Xumerous pas- 
tors have .served this church, of whom Revs. Mr. 
Bales, Dr. Horn, Mr. Legear and Rev. W. H. 
Otjen have been noteworthy. Rev. Mr. Perry 
is the present pastor. The Sunday School num- 
bers about 17.J and the Epworth League is 

The Baptist church was organized in 1868 
and has been small in numbers but sustained by 
members of peculiar loyalty and devotion. The 
present pastor is Rev. Mr. Porter and the church 
is making progress. 

The origin of the St. Patrick's Catholic church 
grew out of mass first held in 1853 by a travel- 
ing priest. In 1856 Rochelle was attached to 
St. Patrick's Church at Dixon as an out-mission 
Rev. Father Kennedy held the first regular serv 
ice in 1856 and built a church in 1857. The resi 
dent pastors have been Fathers Duhig, Gormley 
Luby, Dr. Gavin, Frolich, Tracy, Quigley, O'Cal 
laghan, D. D.. Green, Carr, and Thomas Finn, 
who took charge in 1893 and continued to 1907. 
The fine brick church was built in 1890 and the 
rectory about 1900. Rev. Father D. J. Conway 
is the present pastor and is very popular. About 
two hundred families are communicants. A 
parish school is now being started in the old 
Southworth residence. 

The German Lutherans have a prosperous or- 
ganization and own the building formerly used 
by the Presbyterian church. Their present pas- 
tor is Rev. Mr. Schoembeck. The Swedish Luth- 
erans also have an organization but do not own 
a building. The Episc-opalians have a church 
organization and the Christian Science church 
has an association. The Universalists had an 
organization here about 1870, which continued 
for four years. 

Fraternal and Social Organizations. — The 
secret societies of Rochelle are the Masons, Odd 
Fellows, Ancient Order of United Workmen, 
Modern Woodmen and Knights of Columbus. 
Horicon Lodge, No. 242, A. F. & A. M., was or- 
ganized under dispensation June 3, 1857, and 
received its charter October 7, 1857, with D. W. 
Baxter. W. M. ; H. H. Fi-isbee, S. W. ; Heni-y 
Burlingini, .7, W. Meetings were held in Repub- 
lican Hall and then in the Odd Fellows' Hall. 
Later they met in the Opera House Block, then 
in the rooms occupied by the Knights of Colum- 
bus. Their present rooms are on the third story 
of the Stocking Post-ofTiee building, and are very 
handsome and convenient. The I>odge numbers 

119, with George E. Moore. W. M. ; Fred W. 
Craft. S. W.: and William F. Hackett, J. W. 

Tlie Rochelle Chapter, No. 158, R. A. M., is an 
active organization with W. B. McHenry, E. H. 
P.: J. R. Patterson. King: David Kelly, Scribe; 
Adolph Hilb, Treasurer ; G. H. Moore, Secretary. 

The Mystic Workers of the World have 89 
members with James Brundage. Jr.. Prefect ; Fva 
Weeks, Jlonitor ; Anna Caspers, Banker ; Alee. 
Hodge, JLirshal. 

The officers of other organizations are as 
follows : 

Royal Neighbors of America. — Mrs. K South- 
worth, Oracle; Mrs. Nellie Tigan, Vice-Oracle; 
Mrs. Hattie Caspers, Recorder ; Mrs. R. Unger, 

Daughters American Revolution. — Miss Anna 
Turkington, Regent ; Mrs. G. E. Stocking, Vice- 
Regent; Mrs. Mary Elliott, Treasurer; Mrs. 
S. V. ^Tlrick. Secretary. 

Catholic Order of Foresters.— T. M. Keegan, 
Deputy C. R. ; James DeCourcey, P. C. R. ; Theo. 
Shade, C. R. ; A. E. Ludvvig, Secretary. 

Grand Army of the Republic. — Major Gammon, 
Commander ; Cash Perry, Senior Commander ; 
J. O. MeConaughy, Q. M. ; I. E. Thorp, Adjutant. 

The Ladies' G. A. R. is an active organization 
with Mrs. Van Patten as President. 

The Modern Woodmen of America has 119 
members, with the following oflicers : A. A. Cgs- 
pers, V. C; W. H. Williams. Clerk. 

The Order of Eastern Star has about 1.30 mem- 
bers with Jlrs. J. R. Patterson. W. il. : Mi's. 
E. L. Vaile, Secretary. 

Hickory Grove Lodge, No. 230, I. O. O. F., was 
organized May 21, 1857, with J. B. Barber, 
Noble Grand. Their meetings have been held 
first in Republican Hall, next in the Hall over 
:McHcnry's present shoe-store, which was de- 
stroyed by fire, then reliuilt and reoccupied by 
them. In 1870 the lodge room was again de- 
stroyed by fire. They now have permanent 
quarters over the rear of the Stocking Bank. 
The present membership is 117, with George 
Kramer as N. G. ; D. C. Russell as V. G. ; and 
.\. M. Peck as Secretary. 

The Flagg Lodge. No. 115. A. O. U. W., began 
May 20, 1878. It has been a prosperous Lodge 
but at present does not hold meetings. The in- 
surance feature is attended to by J. F. Bird, 

The Knights of Columbus started in 1905 and 
has about 90 members, with D. J. Sullivan as 



Gi'and Knight, and occupies tlie former Masonic 
rooms in the Bain Block. 

The Woman's Club of Rochelle, a wide-awake 
orgpnization with 100 members, was organized 
in 3897 and has for its present officers, Mrs. 
Arthur M. Peck, President ; Mrs. Fred W. Craft, 
Vice-President; Miss Josephine Hoadley, Sec- 

A Chautauqua Circle has been active here for 
twenty years, many members have graduated 
and the organization is prosperous. 

The Nineteenth Century Club is another 
Ladies' literary club which has stimulated the 
intellectual life of Rochelle. 

Manufacturing Enterprises. — The Agricul- 
tural and Mechanical Association of Rochelle 
was organized July 31, 1S73, the first officers 
being M. J. Braiden, President; E. L. Otis, Sec- 
retary ; M. T. Ellinwood, Treasurer ; D. C. May, 
Superintendent. Agricultural fairs and horse 
races were held annually until about 1904, when 
the organization was dissolved and the grounds 
sold to Jlorris Kennedy and re-sold by him to 
a committee to obtain the location at Rochelle of 
the Vassar Swiss Knitting FactoiT- This com- 
mittee subdivided the tract into lots and sold the 
lots for about $15,000, which was used as a bonus 
to secure the factory. 

A little over five years ago. a number of prom- 
inent and enterprising citizens exerted them- 
selves to secui-e some factories for Rochelle. The 
first one obtained was the Vassar Swiss Under- 
wear Company, for which a bonus of about $15,- 
000 was raised and factory buildiugs erected. 
The corporation is composed chiefly of Chicago 
people and George Rutledge is the resident man- 
ager and inventor of the knitting machines. 
About 75 people are employed. 

The P. Ilohenadel, Jr., Canning Company was 
established in 1903 and is engaged in the can- 
ning of corn, peas, sauer kraut and pickles. 
Connected with this industry is the Hohenadel- 
Stocking Farming Company, which uses about 
2,000 acres in raising vegetables for canning. 
The citizens donated the site to the factory at 
a cost of about $5,000. About 100 men are em- 
ployed in the busy season. 

The Billmire Bridge and Iron Woi-ks occupy 
the old foundry plant in the east part of town 
and came here in 190.5. It employs about 30 

The George D. \\^iitcomb Company occupies 

the building soal beast of the city limits, which 
was built by a company of citizens for the Ro- 
chelle Novelty Manufacturing Company. The 
only novel thing about this latter company was 
its experience with the manager, who was in- 
dieted for stealing the Intricate parts of their 
machines, but was acquitted on the ground that 
as manager, he had a right to the possession of 
them. The ^Vllitcomb Company came to Rochelle 
in 1907; has employed about 75 men and is en- 
gaged in the manufacture of machinery, princi- 
pally for mining. 

The Rochelle Clock and Watch Manufacturing 
Company came here in 190G, receiving as a bonus 
from our citizens about $15,000, which was the 
cost of buildiugs. About 100 people are employed. 

The Rochelle Wire Manufacturing Company is 
engaged in the manufacturing of barbed wire 
fence. The officers are P. Hohenadel, Jr., Presi- 
dent, and George E. Stocking, Vice-President and 

The Dust Proof Furniture Company was or- 
ganized in 1906 and manufactures principally 
office cases for filing papers, etc. 

The financial prosperity of Rochelle has been 
greatly improved by the extensive drainage of 
the lands in the vicinity. In 1S93 the Brush 
Grove Drainage District was formed for the pur- 
ixtse of draining lands west and south of Ro- 
chelle in Ogle and Lee counties, and a large 
amount of low land was drained. Other smaller 
drainage districts have been formed and also 
much private drainage has been done. As a 
result these' low lauds are the best and are 
worth from $125 to $150 per acre, and the in- 
creased crops have made the community much 
more prosiwrous. 

B.4.NKING Institutions. — Enoch Hinckley and 
Son were the first bankers, beginning in 1860. 
E. T. Hunt and Company started a second bank 
alx)ut 181)1 and sold out the next year to I. M. 
Mallory. who organized the business into the 
Rochelle National Bank in 1872 and became its 
President, with J. T. Miller, Cashier. The pres- 
ent officei"s of the Rochelle National Bank are 
Emanuel Hilb. President ; Daniel Cary, Vice- 
President; A. B. Sheadle, Cashier. Its paid iu 
capital is $50,000 with $25,000 surplus. Its 
offices have recently been handsomely rebuilt 
and beautifully furnished. 

In 1S72. also, the first National Bank was 
organized with M. T. Ellinwood as President and 
John C. Phelps, Cashier. Peter Smith was its 



next President and J. T. Miller its Cashier. Later 
this bank was purchased by William Stocking 
and Company and conducted as a private bank. 
Albert Bird was for many years its Cashier. In 
190G it was re-organized as the Stocking Trust 
and Savings Bank. Its present officers are, 
George E. Stocking. President; Horace Stocking, 
Vice-President ; Otto Wedler, Cashier. Its paid 
in capital stock is $150,000 with $15,000 surplus. 
A handsome gray stone building on the corner of 
Washington and Fourth Street is its elegant 

In 190-1 the People's Loau and Trust Company 
was organized as a Bank with its present offi- 
cers, D. W. Baxter, President ; U. D. Hathaway, 
Vice-President; J. C, Fesler, Cashier. Its paid 
in capital stock is $50,000 with $25,000 sm-plus. 
It occupies the old "corner brick,"" now rebuilt 
into a fine banking and office building. The com- 
bined deposits of these several banks average 

R0CHEI.LE Bab. — Roehelle has had a gifted 
Bar ; among some of the past lawyers of promi- 
nence were H. O. Rogers. M. D. Hathaway, Sr., 
who was probably the most widely known of the 
older members of the bar and accumulated a 
large fortune in his practice, banking and gen- 
eral business interests ; David O'Brien, who is 
said to have been the most brilliant law^^er that 
ever practiced in this part of the country ; his 
In-other. George D. O'Brien, who was a pains- 
taking student of the law and a wise counsellor, 
who died in July, 1907. The present members of 
the Bar are, D. W. Baxter. C. E. Gardner, W. B. 
-McHenry, W. P. Landon, Floyd Tiltou. William 
Healy. Frank Healy, Edward McCouaughy. S. V. 
Wirick and Fred A. Wirick. ^ 

Newspapers. — The first newspaper, the "Lane 
Leader," was established by John R. Howlett in 
Lane. October, 1858. His style was so full of 
vim that his pai^er was not a financial success. 
Init he struggled along until the summer of 1861 
when he sold out to Prof. James A. Butterfield, 
who issued the "Lane Patriot" in the fall of 
1861 and suspended publication in the spring of 
1862. Prof. Butterfield was a musical genius 
who afterwards became the leader of the Chi- 
cago Delegation of Gilmore's Peace Jubilee and 
wrote several popiilar songs, including, "When 
You and I were Young. Maggie." 

The first issue of "The Lane Register" was 
July 25, 1863, by Mr. E. L. Otis, its founder. 

who moved from Rockford to Roehelle. Mr. 
Otis became known as one of the most vigorous 
and able editors in this part of the country. 
There was not a neutral hair on his bead and 
he built up a strong paper. In 1865 the name 
was changed to "The Roehelle Register,'" when 
the name of the village was changed. Mr. Otis 
continued as the editor and publisher of the 
paper until he sold it in 1887 to J. C. Neff, who 
had been the station agent of the Northwestern 
Railroad at Roehelle, and who published the 
paper for one year. Mr. H. C. Paddock bought 
the paper in 1888 and ijublished it until No- 
vember 20, 1891. George W. Dicus then became 
its o-OTier and editor, having published the "Mil- 
ledgeville Free Press" for two years prior to 
1890. Mr. Dicus was an active and able editor 
and materially increased the influence and cir- 
culation of the paper until it occupied a promi- 
nent position in this eountj-. On May 13, 1907, 
Emery I. Neff, who had been Superintendent of 
Schools in Ogle County, became the publisher 
and is now .conducting it with ability. It has 
always been Republican in politics except under 
Mr. Paddock, when it was eclectic. 

On August 18, 1881, G. W. Morris and his 
son, Howard A. Morris, as partner, founded "The 
■Roehelle Herald." They had previously piib- 
lished "The Malta Mail" and "The Creston 
Times" at Malta, and in 1882 they merged them 
all in "The Herald."' This paper has been suc- 
c-essful and has always been Republican in its 
politics. In March, 1893, G. W. Morris died and 
his son Howard continued as the owner and 
editor. Howard Morris has had the longest 
period of continuous service of any of the pres- 
ent editors in the county. 

December 16. 1897, "The Roehelle Independ- 
ent'" was founded by the Lux Brothers, Chas. A. 
and Fred E. Lux, and has been successful and 
enterprising. It is Republican in politics and 
enjoys a large circulation. 

Several other papers have had a brief exist- 
ence in Roehelle, one published by John M. King 
in 1881, and a Free Silver paper, published by 
Norman Rappalee in 1806, had a brief existence. 

City Officers. — The present officers of the 
City of Roehelle are: W. B. McHenry, Mayor; 
Dr. T. E. Fouser, Clinton Myers, W. J. Vaughn, 
Morris Kennedy. William Kahler and A. B. 
Slieadle, Aldermen; W. P. Landon, City Attor- 
ney ; Thomas M. Keegan. City Clerk, and O. M. 
Lake, Police Magistrate. 



UTiGATiox OvEK Real Estate. — For a number 
of years resideuts were greatlj- exercised over a 
liti^tiou that threateueil to affe*.-! the title to 
most of ttie towu-site. This was ealleil the Koss 
Heirs' litigation. Charlotte A. Powell, the widow 
of old Sheldon Rirtholomew. who oauie here in 
ISSS, had a daughter. Maria, who marries! Isaac- 
Ross and these three made a deed to R. P. Lane 
of the northeast and southwest quarters and 
the southwest quarter of Section 24. whioh is 
in the original town of Liiue. This deed was 
invalid btn^tiuse it did not state that Maria Ross' 
was the wife of Isaac Ross, nor did the certifi- 
c-ate of ackno\»ledgtuent state that Maria Koss 
was examined separate and apsirt from her hus- 
band, or that the contents and meaning of the 
deed were made known aud explained to her. 
The deed, failing to conform to the requirements 
of the statute, was dec-Iared invalid. 

In the "seventies there was toasiderable 
talk, about the validitj- of the title aniL in the 
"eighties, the Mettlers lira, Iliff and William) 
and Porter Chamberlain, were interested by Wil- 
liam T. Agnew to buj- the interests of five of the 
cbitdren of Maria Koss, who had since died. 
Agnew was the "ausbaud of Carrie Agnew, one 
of the six children of Maria Koss. In the 
"eighties a gooil deal of litigation was brought 
by Agnew aud the Mettlers against citizens to 
to eject them from their proj,iertj". Cases are 
found in 15 Illinois Appellate Ke^iorts (pages 
66S and i!>TO), also in 120 Illinois Reports (page 
«t>C>), The* cases were unsuccessful for vari- 
ous reasons that lUd aot go to the merits of the 
situation. Finaltj- iu 1S»I. David O'Brien be- 
came the attorney for the Mettlers aud. iu the 
case of Ira Mettlep ^-s. Joseph Craft (39 IU. 
App. IdS). it decided that Mr. Craft must 
lose his home and receive nothing for the im- 
provements. Consternation fell upon the prop- 
erty holders. They had formed ati organization 
to defend their titles. Ex-mayor M. L. Ettinger 
was then employed to make researt-h. but Judge 
Frank E. Reed of Oregon made the vital dis- 
covery. He was then employed as a clerk in 
the abstract ofSce and was making an abstract 
for some property in Kochelle. It had been the 
custom of the abstractors to make a copy of the 
retard up to the time of Lane"s Plat : but Mr. 
Reed was not satisfied with the meagerness of 
the abstract of a certain suit, aud examined the 
records to obtain fuller details. While thus en- 
gaged he ran across the record of another suit. 

whioh nirued out to be the assignment of dower 
to Charlotte Powell, m which the seven and one- 
halt" acres west of the old Rockford road were 
set off as her absolute property. Hence the deed 
to that part did not reqiure Maria Ross and hus- 
band to unite in it. This seven and one-half 
acres was the part that was most dubious, and 
this discovery was a great victory to the people. 
The citizens had employeil Messrs. Cohrs and 
Green of Chicago as their lawyers, and while the 
suit was still pendmg iu 1S94:. Mr. Ettinge- 
bought for the citizens the one-sixth interest oi 
George Ross for $750 on his twenty-first birth- 
daj-, although he had as a minor uuide a previous 
deed to the Mettlers. This stopped the proceed- 
itigs of ejei'tment as it gave to the citizens a 
right of ocvupancy. In 1803 ali of the other 
interests were purchased for $1,500. and a deed 
was given to Albert Bird as trustee for the 
owners. The expenses for this contest were 
Jit-.OOO. Other parts of the towu-site were af- 
fected, but not to the extent of this fortj--acre 
tract. This litig-atiou retarded the improvement 
of the city, but as sooa as it was closed, a new 
period of prosperitj- began. 

RECE^■T r)E\-Ei.0P3j.KST. — ^There has been au 
active builiUng boom in recent years. Besides 
the buildings mentioned elsewhere, fine business 
buildings have been erec-ted by A. Binz. C. E. 
A'^leatine, A. Hizer. Edward Reynolds, the Lux 
Brothers and J. J. Johnson, The latter has just 
completed buiUling a large COliseimi for public 
amusement, 0b"xl20 feet. The old Chockley Block 
on the corner of Washiugton Street and Cherry 
Aveuue, which has been a laud-mark, is at pres- 
ent bein^ handsomely remodeled. 

Rochelle is a prosperous city of three thou- 
sand inhabitants. An uuusuallj- large number 
of pleasant homes, costiiig from $3,000 to $12,000 
each, make the town delightful, aud a public 
water system, with a large supply of the purest 
water from a deep well, a fine sewer system in- 
stalled iu IWT. a municipal electric plant, built 
in 1907, a modern gas plant and a complete tele- 
phone system furnish the city with modem con- 
veniences. Three large railroad systems, the 
Chicago & XortUwestern. Chicago, Burliugtou & 
Quiucy and the Chicago, Mlln-aukee & St. Paul, 
give excellent shipping facilities. 

.\ spirit of enterprise possesses the i>eople and 
vig^iroas efforts have been made to interst fac- 
tories to lO'.-ate here. Business is in the hands of 



midtile-aged men, who are active aud aggressive. 
Public enterprises enlist great interest and the 
social life of the town is delightful. 

The Supei'visors for the township of Flagg 
since its organization are as follows : Ira Over- 
aclier, 1850-51; Peter Mills, 1852.5,3; Ira Over- 
acker, 1854-55; Henry Burlingim, 1850-58; Wil- 
lard P. Flagg, 1859-GO; Joseph Parlier, 1861-62; 
W. P. Flagg, 1863-64; .Joseph Parker, 1865-68; 
Denard Shockley. 1869; Caleb B. Boyce, 1870-74; 
Miles J. Braiden, 1875-80 ; James Rae, 1881 ; 
Elijah Taylor, 1882-84; William Stocking, 1885- 
89; Elijah Taylor, ]8!)0; Samuel J. Parker, 
1891-1908. The other officers for the '■'^wnship, 
in addition to the Supervisors for 1908, are: 
Town Clerk, Ira T. Longwell ; Assessor, Oscar 
M. Lake; Tax Collector, Robert Wiley; Justicas 
of the Peace, M. L. Ettiuger, Fred A. Wirick ; 
Constables, C. A. Hlzer, W. R. Sechler ; High- 
way Commissioners, T. J. Dailey, James Tilton, 
Robert E. Banning; School Treasurer. O. A. 


This township lying in the northwestern cor- 
ner of Ogle County, consists mainly of the now 
valuable prairie land. What was early known 
as White Oak Grove \v:is the only timber uf 
any account in it; .ind licrc. '" ^'^1. Isaac 
Chambers at first eonsiderea ^elulng. but de- 
cided the timber was not sufficient for a per- 
manent settlement and located farther to the 
south where the grove, on the line between 
Brookville Township and Carrol! Count}-, bears 
his name, this being related in the history of 
the four townships of that region which were so 
closely connected in their early settlement. 

Early Settlers. — In 1838 Jacob Hilsinger 
was living in White Oak Grove, but left for an- 
other region, unknown, leaving his log cabin in 
the gi'ove for many years as a reminder of his 
short tenure, and as a shelter for the indefatig- 
able hunter. In 1852 Orville Samuel and Ran- 
som Bailey located in the north part of the 
township, their land lying upon the county line 
and a part of it afterwards becoming the site 
of the village of Baile.vville. The surveying for 
the building of the Illinois Central Railroad at- 
tracted otber settlers, but it was not till after 
the completion of the railway aud its operation 
was established, that families began to oome in 
greater numt)ers to stay permanently. Then the 

villages of Baileyville and Forreston were laid 
out, business places were started in them, and 
additional farms were taken up. The town- 
ship growth from that time to this has been 
steady, and other villages have sprung up. North 
Forreston at the junction of the Illinois Cen- 
tral aud Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Rail- 
ways, and Harper on the line of the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul. Many of the earliest 
residents moved into this township from neigh- 
lioring regions after the tide of settlement set 
this way. 

Among earlier and later residents of the town- 
ship have been Matthew Blair from Pennsyl- 
vania; Samuel Mitchell from Maryland; Cyrus 
Billig, who was horn in Ogle County in 1840, 
his father being among the earliest of the pio- 
neers; Samuel and Aaron Billig, Cornelius Bow- 
man. P. P. Aykens, B. K. Shryock, Aaron Bowers 
(1871 from Pennsylvania), H. P. Brookmeier, 
Robert B. Brow'n (1858, Pennsylvania), John W. 
Cahill (1860, Maryland), N. J. Clark (1875, 
Canada), Bernard Coyle (1855, Ireland), Jacob 
,iud Gelt Deitsman, Meinert Dewall, John H. 
Diehl (1832, Worms, Germany), and Emma 
Sclmell Diehl, Christian Dovenberger (1&59, 
Maryland), Henry Dovenberger, M. P. Eakle, 
John and Geske Menders Frei (1869, Hanover, 
Gei'mauy), J. C. Galbraith, George Geeting, 
George T. Gibbs, Frederick and Ettie Poppen 
Greenfield (Hanover, Germany), Simon and 
:\Iary Hartman Gross (Pennsylvania), Seton and 
Frances Dean Halsey (New York)— the parents 
of the senior member of the firm of Wall Street 
Brokers, New York City, N. W. Halsey & Co.; 
AVilliam and Clara Hackett, Charles M. Haller, 
George W., Theodore, John J., and T. D. Hewitt, 
J. N. Knodle, Evert Ludwig, Jonathan, Peter S.. 
Abram and J. M. Myers ; Edwin H. Riley, Lewis 
F. Rowland, Dr. Thomas Winston (Wales, 1849), 
who, in 1861.' married Carrie E. Mumford, one 
of the preceptresses of Rock River Seminary; 
J. L. Wright, Principal of Schools in Adeline in 
1873 aud in Forreston in 1876 ; Jan Boekholder, 
John Zollinger, Benjamin and Christian Yordy, 
Jacob Reigard, Frederick Veitmeyer, Lewis 
Fosha, N. D. Jleacham, Philo J. Hewitt, J. A. 
Fisher, Ounie DeWall and Frank Wertz, son of 
Lewis Wertz, an early settler in Rockvale Town- 

Township Organiz.\tion. — In the fall of 1856 
a meeting was held in Brookville, the territoi-y 
now comprising Forreston Township then being 



included in Brookville, for the puri^ose of or- 
ganizins: the township. The organization was con- 
summated, since which time the following have 
been the Supervisors of Forreston Township : 
Matthew Blair, 1857-60; Isaac B. Allen, 1861; 
F. N. Tiee, 1862-68 : Isaac B. Allen, 1869 ; E. H. 
Middlekauff, 1870; Andrew Etahley, 1871-72; 
F. N. Tice, 1873-76; Cornelius Bowman, 1877- 
78; William Reintz, 1879-8i ; Matthew Blair, 
1886; Lemuel I. Hackett, 1886-88; Jacob F. 
Swank, 1889-1905; Jacob E. Fisher, 1906-07; 
Jacob F. Swank, 1908. The other township offi- 
cers for 1908 are; Town Clerk. Otto Garard; 
Assessor, C. E. Xicodemus ; Tax Collector. John 
Wilhelms; Justice of the Peace, Cyrus Billig; 
Constable, J. R. Myers ; Highway Commissioners 
^Simon Klock, Lewis Otto. William Dnitsman ; 
School Treasurer, E. E. Haller. 

FoRBESTON Village. — The original plat for the 
village of Forreston v\-as made in the fall of 
1854, by George W. Hewitt, the land having been 
purchased by him from the original owner, Col. 
John Dement, of Dixon. To this he later added 
three other adjoining districts; Xeal's Addition 
and two by the Illinois Central Railroad have 
also since increased the area of the village. The 
main tracks and sidings of the former Chicago 
& Iowa, now a branch of the Chicago, Burlington 
& Quincy Railroad, and of the Illinois Centi-al 
are located on and through the last-named Ad- 
ditions. Here also is the round house, this 
being the end of the Burlington branch. Its 
trains no longer go farther, but start from here 
and return here, the one in the middle of the 
morning, and the return train at noon, making 
the trip to and from Chicago, as formerly, while 
the others travel back and forth and connect at 
Oregon. The township is well provided with 
railway facilities, as connection with the Illinois 
Central can be made at Forreston and from that 
with the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul at Xortli 
Forreston, a mile or two to the northwest. 

The first buildings erected in Forreston were 
a depot and a house for boarding the people 
working on the railroad, early in 1851. These 
were followed by a small warehouse for pur- 
chasing and shipping grain, built by John J. 
Hewitt. Previous to this an enteiTsrising Ger- 
man named Shuey had put up a building for a 
stable, in which he was living with his family 
until he could erect his dwelling, and this he 
turned into a temporary inn for the acconunoda- 
tion of arriving future residents. During 1855 

Aaron Middlekauff and Martin Heller built the 
second warehouse near the railroad, and I. B. 
Allen erected another in 1857. This being a 
favorable t>oiut for shipping grain on the Illinois 
Central, an elevator — the first regular one — was 
built by Jacob Rodermel, and still another by 
Mr. Hewitt. The present large structure, with 
a capacity of about 25,000 bushels, was con- 
structed by William Hewitt, in 1875, steam- 
power being used in conveying the grain to the 
top of the building. This was purchased by Wil- 
liam Poole in 1882, and is now owned by Calvin 
A. Beebe, who conducts the business. 

During the spring of 1855 another building was 
erected by William F. Daniels, who placed in it 
a small stock of groceries and kept the post-office 
there for a short time. Following this a house 
was set up by Theodore Hewitt, he having pro- 
cured the material, framed, in Chicago. This 
building was used for a hotel. Mr. Hewitt died 
the same summer of tj'phoid fever, his being the 
first death in the village and, so far as known, 
in the township. This house was long used for 
the accommodation of travelers. In 1857 the 
Forreston House was erected, and soon after the 
Sherman House, later known as the Central 
House, these hostelries for many years since 
making comfortable and hospitable stopping 
places for the traveler and "dweller within their 
gates." The proprietor of the Forreston House 
is at present Henry Trurabauer. while of the 
Centi-al House, Frank J. Acker is the proprie- 
torial host. Henry Hiller built the next house 
for a store and dwelling, the store being sold 
later to Mr. Woodruff, who disposed of it to 
David Reinhardt in 1858. Samuel Mitchell and 
Matthew Blair, who came the spring of 1855. 
erected dwelling houses and a store building, in 
whirh they opened a stock of groceries. The 
first lirick house was built in 1855 by George W. 
Hewitt, who used it as a dwelling. Mr. Hewitt 
died in 1871. This house is still standing, and is 
being used as a dwelling at the present time. 
The first drug-store was started by Frank Bar- 
ker, afterwards of Rochelle ; the first hardware, 
by Abraham Sager about 1857, and another by 
John W. Cahill. The first shoemaking was done 
by Frederick Meyer, and he was followed in this 
industry by John Lang. A year or two later 
John J. Hewitt and B. F. Emriek opened a gen- 
eral merchandise business, which, in 1^59, was 
purchased by C. M. Haller. who continued it for 


ii uumber of yt-ar.s, iifterwara engaging iu the 
drug business. 

A blaeksmitli sliop started by Thumas Botdorf 
soon after liis arrival iu 1855, later developed 
into a wagon shop and then into a wagon and 
carriage manufactory, which for many years 
carried ou a thriving business. This was pur- 
chased in 1868 by Salter & Hunter, and was 
managed by them till 1878, when the firm became 
Salter & Blair. William Flora now owns the 
premises and runs a blacksniitb sboii in the 

The present Sheriff of Ogle County, Charles 
M. Myers, before his election to that otfiee, iu 
addition to his duties on the Burlington Road, 
conducted an ice business iu Forrestou, which 
was his place of residence at that time, the ice 
beiug obtained from near the line of the railway 
between Mount Morris and Forrestou from bodies 
of enclosed water, known as "Myers' Pouds" by 
the frolicsome young people of the nearby region, 
allowed to skate upon their well-cleared and 
smooth surfaces by their genial and generous 
owners, the parents of the present efficient and 
courteous county official. 

Mr. Daniels was succeeded as Postmaster by 
Samuel Mitchell, who served till 1861, when 
Matthew Blair was appointed and continued in 
office four years. Following Mr. Blair were 
Samuel Roekwood, ,Iohn C. Galbraith, Dr. 
Thomas Winston, Dr. .7. D. Covell. and several 
others; at the present time Riley M. Garmnn 
lieing Postmaster. 

Banks. — The Bank of Forrestou, a private 
bank, was .started by J. B. Kimball and B. C. 
■miitlock iu 1867. A few months after it had 
started the ownership changed to Kimball & 
Hewitt, a year later to J. .T. Hewitt. In 1872 
Reuben Wagner, of Polo, became the owner, 
but later the Arm became Wagner & MeClure 
for a time, after which Jlr. Wagner continued 
the business alone until its close in 1885. 

The Farmers & Traders Bank was organized 
in 1880 by J. J, Hewitt, who erected the present 
bank building iu 1882. Charles McCullougli was 
the first cashier, followed by T. D. Hewitt, son 
of the owner. At the present time this business 
organlzatiou is called the Forrestou State Bank. 
Its officers are .J. T. Campbell, President; S. E. 
Campbell, Vice-President; C. L. Robertson, 
Cashier. The founder of the Farmers & Traders 
Bank in 1881. ou account of ill-bealtb. made a 
trip to California, where at Riverside, he was 

attracted by its tine orange-growing, and became 
the owner of a valuable orange ranch. After 
spending his winters iu Riverside for a time he 
finally made it his permanent home, and there 
his death occurred several years ago. 

Schools. — ^The first school house in the vil- 
lage was built in 1856. It was a frame build- 
ing, which is still standing, opposite it iu 1878 
being the residence of Philo J. Hewitt. It is 
now occuiUed as a dwelling by Otto Garard. Miss 
Maria Blair was the first teacher. She was 
followed by Thomas J. Hewitt and A. Q. Allen, 
the latter the first teacher in Mount Morris. In 
1867 a substantial three-story brick school-house 
was erected, including grounds and furnishings, 
at a cost of $16,000. Among those serving as 
Principals of the public school are J. L. Spear 
and J. W.' Clinton, afterwards editor of the 
"Polo Press," and now writer of the history of 
the four as.sociated townships of this History of 
Ogle County; G. M. Glenn. M. L. Seymour. 
George Blount, J. L. Wright, O. S. Davidson, and 
Mr. Winslow, who took an active and commend- 
able interest in High School athletics, particu- 
larly iu the Annual Track Meet. The present 
Principal is S. H. Hetrick, and the Assistant 
Principal Miss Jane Parmalee, of Roehelle. In- 
cluding the Principal, six teachers are employed 
in the Forrestou public school. The course in 
the High School includes four years' work 
Aliout 200 pupils are iu attendance in all the 
departments during the school year. A year ago 
tlie High School was made a present, by the 
Board of Education, of a fine Schiller piano. 
The members of the present School Board are: 
Fred .1. Deutb. President ; Lewis DeGraff, Frank 
Wertz. .7. C. Akins, .7. E. Fisher, Calvin A. 
Beebe. M. A. Trei. 

Churches. — The Methodist Ejiiscopal Church 
was the first religious organization in the vil- 
lage, a class lieing formed in 1856, of which 
Samuel and Hannah Mitchell and Mr. and Mrs. 
H. G. Starr were members. The first sermon 
was preached in the railroad depot during this 
year by the Rev. William Underwood. Services 
were later held in the school-house and iu the 
church of the United Brethren till 1864, when 
a frame building for church purposes was com- 
pleted and dedicated by the Rev. Dr. Eddy. A 
parsonage was added to the church property in 
187:^. Quarterly Conference was first held in 
Forreston March 21. 1857. Ou account of many 



removals and the large German population, the 
membership decreased, and services are no more 
held in it. The sparrows have pre-empted a 
dwelling place under its eaves, and their homely, 
cheerful, busy notes are the only songs now peal- 
ing forth a hymn of prayer and worship. 

The United Brethren in Christ erected the first 
house of worship in the village, soon after their 
organization in 1858. The class formed consisted 
of a number of members. The first minister was 
the Rev. S. S. Osterhoudt. A Sunday School was 
formed about 1878. This denomination showed 
immediately a broad-minded spirit, and the new 
church building was at times used by the other 
denominations till they had edifices of their 
own. Tliere are no services held in the eliurch 
at the preseut time. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church was organ- 
ized and a constitution adopted October 21, 1859. 
The Rev. Ephraim Miller was Chairman, and 
the Rev. ,1. K. Bloom, secretary of the conven- 
tion and pastor. Mission work had been pre- 
viously carried on by the Rev. J. G. Donmeyer, 
the pioneer minister of this jiart-of the county. 
Charles M. Haller was elected elder, and Thomas 
Botdorf and Benjamin F. Emrich deacons. The 
church building, of briclv, was completed in 
186-1. aud about the same time the parsonage was 
purchased, it being the home of the Rev. Mr. 
Bloom, who was leaving the charge. The Sab- 
bath School was originally oi-ganized in 1858 
aud was a Union school; by withdrawals of 
others forming the Union, at length, in 187f, 
it became the Evangelical Lutheran Sabbath 
School. The Rev. S. H. Yerian is the present 

Zion Reformed Church was established about 
1857, by the Rev. George Weber, mission work 
having been carried on by the Rev. John A. Leis. 
A brick church edifice was erected on the cor- 
ner of B and Third Streets in 1870. This cost 
$7,000; a parsonage had been built-in 1867 for 
the sum of .$2,000, and a Sabbath School organ- 
ized in 1874. At present the Rev. .J. A. Noble 
looks after the siiiritual welfare of this congre- 

Bishop's Church of the Evangelical Associa- 
tion was organized in 1860, services being held 
in the school-house until 1869, when a commodi- 
ous frame edifice was erected at a cost of $7,000. 
This church was named "Bisliop's Church" 
through the esteem and affection which was 
held for Bishop .J. Long, who was residing in 

JTorrestou at the time of its erection, and who 
died about the time of its completion. The Rev. 
Mr. Freeden was the first pastor, Rev. E. E. 
Keiser being pastor at the present time. 

The German Reformed Church was organized 
first as the "Reformed Protestant Dutch Church." 
but took its present name in 1867. The Rev. 
J. H. Karston was the first settled pastor in 
1865. Services were at first conducted iu the 
Holland language and the record kept in that 
language, the German afterwards being adopted. 
The church was built in 1S66, and dedicated by 
the Rev. J. Muller. The first officers were J. R. 
Heeren, B. Daueks. Jacob Smith, M. Reintsema. 
A Sabbath School was formed in 1869. The 
Rev. H. Potgeter is the present pastor. The 
services are still conducted in the language 
familiar to its people, the German. 

The Memorial Evangelical Church was organ- 
ized some years ago, the original members hav- 
ing been a part of Bishop's Evangelical Church. 
The church building, a frame structure, was 
erected at a cost of about .$2,000. A Young 
People's Jlissionary Society, which meets month- 
ly, takes an active interest in carrying on the 
helpful work of the church. Rev. H. Messner 
is the pastor at the present time. 

XEwsp.^PEns. — The "Forreston Journal" began 
its puljlication April 6, 1SG7. under Saltzman & 
Mathews. Later Mr. Mathews retired and C. F. 
Dore became the partner. In 1872 J. W. Clin- 
ton, of Polo, purchased the entire interest, and 
continued the publication for a year or two, when 
he sold to G. L. Bennett. In 1874 I. B. Bick- 
ford purchased the paper and removed it to 
Byron. M. V. Saltzman, one of the first editors, 
died, much respected, in 1878. 

The "Forreston Herald" was started in 1878. 
P. N. Tice. editor, C. W. Slocum followed him 
as editor and proprietor, and he was succeeded 
by L. G. Burrows ; iu 1882 N. W. Halsey leased 
the office and continued the paper for one year. 
In 1884 C. JI. Kenj-on became editor, Mr. Bur- 
rows retaining the ownership. Later Theodore 
F. Haller became editor and proprietor and con- 
ducted the paiier for a number of years. In 1902 
it was united with "The Hustler" and the "Ogle 
County Review," and published by the Kable 
Brothers Company, being edited and managed 
by Ethel M. Griswold. under the style of "Ogle 
County Review-Herald." which name it now 
bears. Its editor and publisher now is O. W. 



Municipal Histohy. — The population of For- 
reston is now about 1,100. The village was in- 
corporated by special charter in 1SG8, and under 
the General Law in 1888. The present officers 
are S. W. Muuima, President; .John Boekholder, 
Treasurer; Martin Brant, William Duitsmau, 
John McKinstra, M. A. Trei, Henry Timmer, 
Charles Nicodemus, Trustees. The village is 
supplied with water pumped by gasoline engine 
from an artesian well. This well was drilled 
about 1890, and is 302 feet in depth. The elec- 
tric lighting is obtained through a private plant 
owned by George Orombie, who also furnishes 
electric light from his plant at Forreston to the 
residents of Adeline. 

Business Firms. — Among the business" firms 
in Forreston are John Boeljholder, general store; 
Martin A. Trei, shoe-store; Edward Haller and 
Harry Lebo. drug-stores; DeGraff Brothers, fui-- 
niture and undertaking; J. E. Nampel. harness; 
Joseph Abels, implement; Fred J. Deuth. Duits- 
mau & Aykens and Ulfers, hardware; W. F. 
Derby and Airs. Peter Aykens, groceries ; Otto 
Garard, variety store: Samuel Brown. Andrew 
Onielia and Henry Schell, restaurants. Tile 
creamery is owned l)y .Tohn Newman, of Elgin, 

North Forreston was started in 1881, now 
having about ten people. Its elevator is owned 
by Calvin A. Beelie, of Forreston. The district 
school is situated alioiit a quarter of a mile dis- 

Baileyviixe.— Thi.s village was laid out in 
1855 and named for the men uiwn whose land 
the site was located. The station agent of the 
newly-completed railway was a Mr. Philbrick. 
who also kept a store in which the jMst-offlce was 
located, its interest being looked after by Orville 
Bailey. The village prosijered and after some 
years numbered about 200 inhabitants. Being 
on the line between Ogle and Stephenson coun- 
ties some of its places of business came to be 
located across the boundary. One of the first 
general stores was owned by Miller & Company, 
and in charge of Charles Boadman. William J. 
Reitirell succeeded this firm in 1878. Other early 
business firms were S.unuel Druck, and Aykens 
& Brother conducted a general retail store ; J. F. 
Hinders, C. W. Bergaer. groceries; Frederick 
Kobo, blacksmith and agricultural implements ; 
George Conrad, blacksmith ; C. W. Prine. car- 
penter and builder: Peter Brand, shoemaker; 

P. Lyman, painter ; Christian Doveuberger, coal- 
dealer ; Charles Arms, agent for J. B. Smith, 
grain buyer; J. Roscom, shoe-store; Dr. D. H. 
Carpenter, early physician. 

Some of the business firms at the present time 
are William Geiger, lumber and coal : Albert 
Geiger, general store ; Henry Biggers, general 
store ; an elevator owned by E. P. Hill of Free- 
ix)rt. Henry Biggers is the present Postmaster. 
A creamery was establi.shed about twenty years 
ago, which is now operated by John Bechtold. 
School is tauglit now in one room of the brick 
building, by Miss Lillian Clark. 

There are two churches, viz. : German Re- 
formed and German Baptist. The membership 
in the German Reformed Church numbers about 
fifty, and Rev. E. H. Thormanu is pastor. The 
German Baptist Church has a membership roll 
of about eighty. The Rev. Mr. Willis was one 
of its early pastors. The services, which were 
conducted at first in German, are now in both 
German and English. The pastor is the Rev. 
E. Huber. 

Harper. — This village was started along the 
line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Rail- 
road in 1881, and it now has about fifty i>eople. 
The post-office is in charge of Dennis Sullivan ; 
the elevator is owned by Isaac Bowler ; the 
creamery, by John Newman. There are two 
stores, a general store conducted by Jacob Buss, 
and a hardware by Miller Brothers. The lum- 
ber and coal yard is owned by William Geiger of 
Baileyville. The district school in the iieigh- 
lK)rhood is taught by Miss Mary Morgan. 


On Blauchard's Historical Map of Illinois is 
found the name "La Sallier's Trading Post," 
marking a point in the Rock River Valley near 
where Grand Detour now is, and intended to 
locate a camp, or trading post, of the French 
fur traders who traversed the Rock River Val- 
ley in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 

"Pierre La Porte, a Frenchman born at what 
was old Fort Frontenac, in Canada, worked for 
the old American Fur Company for a great many 
years. Beginning with the nineteenth century, 
and for a period before that time, he had as his 
territory Rock River, running from a point just 
alK)ve where Janesville is now located. The 
great double bend about half way up the Ouis- 



consin line was one of his camping sjwts, or 
trading stations. The mouth of Rock River was 
his down stream terminal."' 

So writes Frank E. Stevens, of Sycitmore, 111., 
author of a late History of the Black Hawk 
War, in a letter to the writer. Pierre La Porte 
was the great-grandfather of Mr. Stevens, who 
has the information from his mother, still living. 
Mr. Stevens continues : 

"My mother distinctly remembers the home- 
coming trips of the old gentleman, and also the 
amount of baggage he was compelled to carry — 
87 pounds. When he had a season's purchase, 
he pushed through to what is now Chicago, 
skirted the Lakes and delivered the load at some 
point on the Saint Lawrence, I believe, though 
upon that point I am not certain," 

Pierre La Porte was possibly the last of the 
French fur traders of the Valley, as "the latter 
part of his service was out in the Rocky Moun- 
tains." The fur trader's press receded before 
the pioneer's cabin. While one reads of the 
tra<ler. BouthiUier. at La Pointe (Galena), and 
of his operations there and at Prairie du Ohien 
for a number of years before 182.5, no mention 
api>ears after that date, the .supi>osition being 
that he had removed to newer fields as soou as 
1 settlement began to be made. But while the 
French traders themselves kept moving west- 
ward with the line of the frontier, as demanded 
by their occup.ition, their language, in at least 
one instance in the Rock River Valley, remained, 
and became fixed to the scene of their former 
operations. They made their camp and estab- 
lished a fur press where Rock River makes its 
grande (le tour, and when later the place be- 
came a settlement of eastern people from a State 
and region where French names remained from 
an earlier time, as Vermont. Montpeliei; Orleans. 
Vergennes. it was both natural and appropriate 
that the name chosen for the new village should 
be Orande de Tour, now become Grand Detour. 
Here came Stephen Mack, former student of 
Dartmouth College, and lived several years, be- 
ginning, perhai>s, in 1827. He traded with the 
Indians, probably in furs as in other things, and 
used, it may be, the abandoned fur press of the 
French fur traders. Having lost the friendship 
of the Indians after a time, because he would 
not include whisky among the things which he 
sold to them, he and his Indian wife, a Potta- 
watomie woman, left the "big bend," and going 
northward to where the Pecatoniea River emp- 

ties into Rock River, at their junction founded 
Maektown. He was the permanent settler 
of the Rock River Valley, and traces of the 
embr.vo village remained for a number of years. 
The Andrus Ciaim on Gband Detour. — In 
1S34, when the Rock River country was being 
much talked of, the last Indian hostilities of the 
Black Hawk War having ended in the defeat 
and almost extermination of Black Hawk's baud 
at the Battle of Bad Axe in Wisconsin, Dixon's 
Ferry was the crossing place over Rock River 
on Kellog's Trail from Peoria to Galena. To 
this iioint came Leonard Andrus, of New York 
and Vermont, looking for location for a home 
in the "Far West," He emplo.yed two Indians 
to take him along Nature's highway northward 
in a canoe. After paddling for ten miles against 
the current, they came to a great Iiend, where the 
river turned back and flowed in the opposite 
direction for a mile or more, as if loath to leave 
the enchanted region of varied beauty that 
marked it« course. Added to the charm of the 
landscape, ^Tas the fertility of the Valley, and 
evident to the eye accustomed to see the streams 
of the Green Mountain State, was the great 
possibility of developed water-power. The canoe 
was stopped and Mr. Andrus proceeded to make 
claim to what afterwards became the site of 
the present village of Grand Detour. 

Part, at least, of the following autumn and 
winter was spent by Mr. Andrus at Constautine. 
Mich., as is shown by old letters written to him 
on December 22, 1S.S4, from Dixon's Ferry, and 
on .Tanuary 27, 1835, from Chicago, by David 
Andrews, who was surveyingthe water-iwwer and 
seeing to splitting rails on the claim and protect- 
ing it from other settlers coming in. Three 
time-stained eommuuications were mailed with- 
out enveloiies, by placing the address on the 
blank side of the folded sheet and sealing with 
a wafer. The posta.?e is marked on the upper 
right hand corner of the first of these letters, 
there being no 25-cent stamp in those days, and 
on the second twelve and one-half cents. They 
are now in the possession of the son. William C. 
Andrus, of Grand Detour, to whose courtesy the 
writer is indebted for consulting them and for 
the copy of the interesting bill of lading here- 
inafter given. When Leonard Andrus returned 
to his claim, he eame again from New York, 
whither he had ' gone from Constantine, Mich,, 
bringing with him from the latter place, W. A. 
House, the latter's wife, Sarah I. House, and her 


sister, Sophrouia Wetlierby. A log-cabin was 
built and their residence at Grand Detour began 
in the summer of 1835. The names of other pio- 
neers who settled there in the years from 1835 
to 1840 are : Amos Bosworth, William G. Dana, 
Marcus and Dennis Warren, Mrs. E. G. Sawyer, 
Cyrus Aiken, Russell Green, Solon Cummins, 
Charles Throop, C. C. Colburn, John Deere, E. H. 
Shaw, Joseph Cunningham, Edward Wright. 

Ueminiscences op Pioneer Life. — Through his 
interest in the pioneer life of the county, Victor 
H. Bovey, of Pine Creek Township, sent for this 
history the following account of the settlement 
of Grand Detour, taken from an old volume in 
his library : 

"The Fourth of July, 1836, was celebrated in 
Grand Detour by digging the town well. Mr. 
Ruel Peabody related that, on that day, there 
sat down to dinner seventeen men and three 
women. It was then he first tasted potatoes in 
Illinois. The three women were Mrs. Hill, Mrs. 
House, and Miss Wetherby. The last named was 
the first teacher of her sex in Grand Detour. 
One Mr. Goodrich taught the winter preceding 
her summer term in a slab shanty of two rooms, 
in one of which he lived with his family. Among 
the recruits in 1837 was a newly-wedded couple, 
Cyrus Aiken and his bride, formerly Eliza Ath- 
erton, from New England. Mr. Aiken's uncle 
had settled on Rock River and wrote such glow- 
ing accounts of the country, including the offer 
of 80 acres of land to the young people if they 
would come and occupy it, that they decided to 
try their fortunes and were soon en route to 
the land of their hopes. When they arrived 
after incredible hardships and weary delays, 
what was their surprise to see so small a vil- 
lage, only two or three log houses and one in 
process of erection for themselves. They began 
their western life in the uncle's home with 
sometimes as many as twenty-five in the family, 
crowded together in two rooms. When after a 
few weeks their own house was completed, they 
found the first night that they were not the 
only inmates. Too weary to put up beds, they 
slept on carpets and comfortables laid on the 
floor of split logs. Waking up in the morning, 
Mrs. Aikin saw something gliding along the side 
of the floor in the early sunshine. Examining, 
she found to her horror that it was a large 
rattlesnake. The first act of housekeeping was 
to kill the unwelcome guest. This done, she set 
about putting her house in order, but it was 

housekeeping under difficulties. They remained 
in Grand Detour about two years and then 
moved to the east side of the river. 

"Of religious associations in Grand Detour, 
the Cougregationalists were the first to organize, 
which was done July 8, 1837. Rev. Colvin W. 
Babbitt became the first pastor. The Society 
consisted of twelve members, of whom Mrs. 
Esther Sawyer is believed to have been the last 
survivor. The church building was dedicated 
November 12, 1848. The lumber was purchased 
in Chicago and hauled out by Ruel Peabody, 
who was one of the first trustees. The society 
i.^ now disorganized and the building no longer 

"The first Episcopal service was at the resi- 
dence of E. H. Shaw, on an evening in June, 
1838, Bishop Chase officiating. The pulpit was a 
three-legged stool set upon a table and covered 
with a towel. Tallow candles were used for 
lights. The church building was commenced in 
1849 and completed the following year. The 
ladies' sewing society paid the first one hundred 
dollars for lumber, which was bought in Chicago 
by E. W. Duteher, who hauled the first load. 
The house was consecrated by the name of St. 
Peter's Church by Bishop Whitehouse on October 
22. 18-52. Its first rector was Andrew J. War- 

"A Methodist Class was formed by O. F. Ayres 
in 1839. Its church edifice was built by Cyrus 
Chamberlain in 1857, at a cost of .$2,500. This 
was dedicated by Revs. T. M. Eddy. Luke Hitch- 
cock and Henry L. Martin in January, 1858. 

"The first Temperance Society was organized 
in February, 1839, with a total of seventy-one 
members. Chester Harrington was Its first sec- 
retary. The first school-house was built in 1839 
and the present one was completed in 1858, 
which at that time was the best in the county. 
It is a brick building of two rooms and cost 
$4,800. A mail stage line was established from 
Dixon to Grand Detour in 1838 by Leonard 
Andrus. W. A. House was the first Postmaster, 
receiving his commission from President Van 
Buren. He and Robert McKenny kept a store 
for several years, afterward selling out to 
Charles Throop, who continued in business for 
nearly fifty years. Of the merchants of the 
e.arly days Solon Cummins was the principal 
one. Mr. Throop once spoke of their amuse- 
ments and related the first picnic in Grand De- 
tour as follows : 'We rigged up a team, found 



one old worn-out harness in one place and an- 
other in another, got one horse here and another 
there and the wagon somewhere else, and went 
to Oak Ridge and had a day of real enjoyment. 
Once on a very cold night Miss Sophronia Weth- 
erby and Mr. Throop were returning from an 
evening party. When two or three miles from 
home, they become so cold Mr. Throop alighted, 
threw the wraps over the lady, seized the horse 
by the bridle and walked the rest of the way. 
Miss Wetherby afterward became Jlrs. Stephen 
Hathaway. In those days the Indians some- 
times annoyed the housewife by watching such 
culinary operations as might be going on outside 
the cabin, or by walking in uninvited, their 
moccasins wet and muddy. To defend herself 
she would take the broom, point to the door 
and say, 'Marchee!' They would obey without 

Miss Sarah Bosworth of Vermont, who had 
spent the summer of 1837 at Green Bay, Wis., 
started for her home in the autumn of that 
year and stopped off for a visit at Grand Detour, 
where she found such good society and life so 
gay she remained for the winter. In the spring 
she went on to Vermont, but only to return the 
ensuing summer, having become the wife of 
Leonard Andrus, their marriage taking place at 
her home in June, 1838. 

For the purpose of developing the water power, 
the very first settlers organized an Hydraulic 
Company, which in 1837 began to build a dam, 
race and sawmill. A gristmill was completed in 
1830. It should be remembered that the first 
plow made by John Deere in his Grand Detour 
blacksmith shoo, was the first plow ever made 
with a steel mold-board. It was a great improve- 
ment, especially in a loam soil like that of Illi- 
nois, in turning which the cast-iron mold-board 
would not scour, as in the case of the clay soil 
of the East, unless it was set so squarely 
against the furrow as to be a heavy draft to the 
team. Mr. Deere would forge the steel into 
shape, and the rough mold-board would then be 
taken by Jlr. Andrus across the river to where 
there was the one grindstone of the locality, 
where it would be ground smooth. Two years 
later Andrus and Deere started the Grand De- 
tour Plow Factory (see cut). Afterward Deere 
moved to Moline, where the John Deere Plow 
Company was organized and has been doing an 
extensive business ever since. The manufacture 
was continued in Grand Detour for a time by 

Andrus and Bosworth, who were succeeded by 
Solon Cummiugs, who moved the plant to Dixon, 
where a large trade was built up. 

During the fifteen years from 1840 to 1855, 
more mercantile business and more manufactur- 
ing were done in Grand Detour than in any 
other town in the county. The firm of Dana and 
Throop disposed annually of merchandise to the 
value of $40,000. Besides plows, flour, wagons 
and tinware, grain cradles were made in large 
numbers — in 1855 as many as 5,000— by J. A. D. 
and D. S. Gushing. The shops and stores drew 
trade for many miles. It was a common occur- 
rence for teams to the number of thirty or more 
to be at the ferry in the early hours of the 
morning waiting to be ferried across, some ar- 
riving there long before daylight in order to be 
among the first to get over. When it was found 
that a railroad was liable to come that way, the 
merchants opposed it, saying their trade would 
be decreased by being divided with that of other 
small towns which the railroad would cause to 
spring up. The reasoning was, of course, falla- 
cious. Two roads passed the village by and then 
it was that the trade was soon divided with 
other towns, which by the aid of the railways 
soon outgrew Grand Detour, captured all of its 
manufacturing and most of its other business. 

During the years of its prosperity Grand De- 
tour was a stopping place for steamboats from 
St. Louis. At that time boats doing a carrying 
trade came north as far as Rockford, and even 
Janesville, surprising as that seems to-day. There 
is documentary evidence of goods ordered at St 
Louis being delivered at Grand Detour by steam- 
boat in a bill of lading still preserved by Wil- 
liam C. Andrus, among on'e of many of his 
father's papers and rec-ords of the time: 

This bill of lading, bearing date July 27, 1844 
— the year of the great flood in the Mississippi 
River — makes mention of a number of packages 
of iron and steel used in the manufacture of 
ploughs, as "shipped in good order and well con- 
ditioned, by Lyon, Short & Co. ... on board the 
steamlioat Lightner Keel . . . now lying at the 
Port of St. Louis, and bound for Grand de Tour 
... to be delivered without delay in like good 
order at the Port of Grand de Tour . . . unto 
Mr. I-eonard Andrus. or his a.ssigns: he or they 
paying the freight at the rate 50 cts. per 100 
pounds." and is signed by "C. A. Fairchild," as 
■■Master or Clerk of said boat." 

Port of Grand De Tour ! How fanciful the 



designation to iis to-day, wiien tlie ouly boats 
seen on Rock River within the limits of Ogle 
County are rowboats or gasoline launches of 
light draft! But if the Deep Water Way pro- 
ject now engaging attention shall be brought to 
a successful consuiumatiou. Rock River may 
again be navigable, in fact as well as in law, and 
boats that weigh anchor and slip their cables 
may repeat their calls at the "Port of Grand 

An Early Abolition Society. — An interesting 
indication of the political complexion of the vil- 
lage is found in the fact that an Abolition So- 
ciety was formed in 1839. As it was only six 
years before that there was organized in Phila- 
delphia the first of such societies in America, 
the citizens of the little settlement in the "Far 
West" were in the vanguard of what later be- 
came a mighty onward movement in civic right- 
eousness, reflecting credit on every one who es- 
poused it,- especially in its infancy. There were 
fifty-two members, twenty-nine men and twenty- 
three women. The officers were : Hugh Moore, 
President ; Joseph Cunningham, Vice-President ; 
Chester Harrington, Recording Secretiu-y ; S. N. 
Anthony, Corresponding Secretary; A. B. At- 
wood. Treasurer. 

Seth Abbott, the father of Emma Abbott, the 
noted prima donna, lived for a time, when Miss 
Abbott was a young girl, ou the James Warner 
farm, on the north line of Grand Detour Town- 
ship where it joins Pine Creek Township. 

Grand Detour had a telegraph station for a 
time. A telegraph line was built along Rock 
River from Rockford to Dixon in connection with 
the establishing of Frink & Walker's Stage Line. 
There was a pole on the top of Castle Rock. As 
the railroads came and the telegraph lines were 
made to follow them, the river line was aban- 
doned. The war news of 1861 to 1865 was read 
from the long white ribbon of dots and dashes 
of that day. 

From the time in the 'thirties, when W. A. 
House constructed the first ferry, it was the 
means of crossing Rock River at Grand Detour 
until 1901, when a fine iron bridge was built, 
at a point where the stream is the dividing 
boundary line between Ogle and Lee Counties. 
It has four spans and a length of 808 feet. Its 
cost, together with that of the long approach 
on the Ogle County side, was $80,000, which was 
shared by the two counties. There had been 
two ferries, the upper and lower, made necessary. 

or at least convenient, by the river's detour of 
several miles in extent. These were in demand 
and did a thriving business in the days when 
Grand Detour was the town of most importance 
in the c-ounty. 

Grand Detour in Decadence. — The writers 
first knew Grand Detour in 1878. It was then 
"the deserted village," 

"Its glades forlorn confessed the tyrant's 
in this instance, the railroad. But if every-vary- 
ing trade passed it by. Nature has been a more 
constant friend. Because of the charm of its 
setting in the midst of unusual beauty of river, 
forest and glade, people delight to go there 
from surrounding towns and from the City of 
Chicago for a day, a week, or a month during 
the spring, summer and fall, either choosing a 
site and camping, or staying at the Sheffield 
House or the Colonial Inn. The drives from 
Oregon and Dixon to Grand Detour are unex- 
celled, and are taken by many persons of a sum- 
mer's Sunday afternoon with Grand Detour as 
the objective point for a stay of several hours 
and supper. And Art has discovered what the 
place holds for the pencil and the brush, and 
thither for several seasons the landscape painter, 
Charles Francis Browne, has taken a class from 
the Art Institute of Chicago to spend a fortnight 
or more sketching and painting. Several years 
ago, the iX)st-office was discontinued and Grand 
Detour now receives its mail by rural delivery 
from Oregon. 

Township Organization. — The township of 
Grand Detour was organized in 1850, its boun- 
daries being determined by the Commissioners 
appointed to divide the county into civil town- 
ships. The following have been members of the 
County Board of Supervisors since that time : 
S. C. Cotton, 1850-55; Cyrus Chamberlain, 1856; 
Solon Cummins, 1857-61 ; Leonard Andrus. 1862- 
66; Charles Throop, 1867-68; Francis Hemen- 
way, 1869; Willis T. House, 1870; Chester Har- 
rington, 1871-73; Samuel Young, 1874-77; Wil- 
liam H. Cox, 1878-83 ; Charles W. Johnson, 1884- 
85; William H. Cox, 1886; George W. Palmer. 
1887-91; William E. Sheffield, 1892-93; Charles 
W. Johnson, 1894-1903; Dr. James Pankhurst. 
1904-07; W. I. Palmer, 1908. In other offices 
of the township for 1908 the following are the 
incumbents: Town Clerk, C. W. Johnson; As- 
sessor, John Cool ; Tax Collector, Charles T. 



Lambert ; Justice of the Peace, John F. Bovey ; 
Constable, W. H. Winebrenner ; Highway Com- 
missioners — Cliarles T. Lambert, M. B. Davis, 
John W. Myers; School Treasurer, E. B. Ray- 


Lafayette Township is on the southern border 
line of townships, Lee County lying across the 
Hue: Pine Rock on the north, Flagg Township 
on the east and Taylor Township on the west, 
are the other boundary limits. It consists of a 
fractional congressional township embracing 18 
sections. Two small streams flow from this 
region in a northwesterly direction through Pine 
Rock into Kyte River — Prairie Creek and the 
one flowing through Lafayette Grove. Tliis 
grove and the one to the north received their 
designations from patriotic settlers who wished 
to associate with their new and distant home 
the names of these two foremost Generals and 
patriots so often linked in mind and history, 
Lafayette and Washington. 

B'iRST Settlement. — One of the Ogle County 
Histories contains the following account of the 
early settlement of this immediate region. 

"The first .settlement was made in the spring 
of 1S.35 by James Clark. David White, Isaac 
Kosecrans, Jonathan W. Jenkins, Richard and 
Thomas Aikens. They were soon followed by 
Dorson Rosecrans, Charles C. Royce, and others. 
The settlement was made in and ;iround the 
grove. Dorson Rosecrans and Royce purchased 
the claim of White. 

"Among the settlers of Lafayette and Wash- 
ington Groves were men of strong religious con- 
victions, members of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. It was not long before their presence 
was known to the circuit rider, and Rev. James 
McKean came and organized a class, probably 
the first in the county. This was the fall of 
18.S5. A log house was at once erected to be 
used for Church and school purposes. Miss Bene- 
dict, a step-daughter of James Clark, and now 
the wife of Rev. Barton H. Cartwright, taught 
this house the first term of school in the town- 

Mrs. Cartwright's Story of the First 
School. — This school taught by Chloe Jane 
Benedict, afterward Mrs. Barton H. Cartwright, 
was the first school taught in Ogle County, in 

a house erected for school purposes, as stated 
in Chapter XXIII. on "I'ioneer Schools of Ogle 
County." There was teaching done prior to this 
in Buffalo Grove, but the instruction was given 
in a room of a dwelling house. The following 
statement made by Mrs. Barton H. Cartwright 
some time before her death, and kindly sent to 
the writer for the use of this history by Mr. 
William A. Hunt, Supervisor for Lafayette 
Township, relates to this matter : 

"We left Ohio and came to Lafayette Grove, 
111., in the fall of 1835. We travelled by wagons 
and most of the way I rode on horseback, fre- 
quently carrying my youngest sister on the horse 
with me. There were three cabins along the 
Grove. We lived in a log cabin of one room. 
We had no floor for about a month ; finally 
father made us a puncheon floor. A stick and 
mud-chimney was built from the ground on the 
outside of the house. Our, nearest market was 
Chicago, where father had to take all his grain 
and produce by wagon. I spun and wove the 
clothing, as well as the bed-spreads and other 
necessary articles used by the family, and made 
liy hand, fine thread lace for trimming. 

"In the spring of 18.30 I taught the first school 
over taught in Ogle County. [That is, in what 
afterwards became Ogle County, as its territory, 
and that of adjacent regions, were then included 
in Jo Daviess County.] I taught school every 
summer until I was married in 18.39. After 
that time my lot was that of a pioneer minister's 
wife. I went with my husband as a missionary 
to Iowa, before it was admitted as a State, and 
shared with him the dangers, toil and privations 
of the early days." 

L..\TER Teachers and Pupils — The school house 
in which Miss Benedict was the teacher was 
built and maintained by subscription, as. of 
course, all the schools were then. It was located 
In Section 4, in the center of the extreme south 
side. It was atlerwards torn down and another 
built one mile west. Mr. Hunt, who has thor- 
oughly investigated the matter of the site of this 
school house, is considering plans for permanently 
marking the historic spot. The school house, used as a church, services being conducted by the 
Rev. Jephtha Noe. and which was burned by the 
bandits as related in Chapter XXIV, was not this 
one, but was situated near where now is the 
Chapel Hill Cemetery, on the east bank of the 
creek opposite the location of the present Chris- 
tian Church. It was rebuilt after the incendl- 



arism ami came to be known as "Old Chapel;" 
it was also used as a school. It was built of oak 
lumber worked out at the saw-mill in Wash- 
ington Grove. After many years it was torn 
down and what was still good was used in build- 
ing the Methodist Church stoue structure at 
Mount Pleasant Hill, two miles north of Ashton, 
which now, too, has gone into decadence. Pratt 
Beebe was one of the early teachers at the "Old 
Chapel," and Mary Weatheriugton (now Mrs. 
Walker, of Ashton), and Mary S. Hawthorn 
(Mrs. John Rutledge, now of Oregon), are among 
those who attended the school. Oscar M. Lake, 
now of Rochelle, Gilbert Reed, now of Ashton, 
were pupils of Miss Benedict during the period 
of her teaching in the Lafayette Grove school. 
Some years later, after the return of his parents 
to Lafayette Township to live. Judge Cartwright 
"learned his letters" in the school house in which 
his mother had taught. Josephus Jloats, now 
living in Ashton, also went to school in this build- 
ing under a later teacher. 

A sketch of Mrs. Barton H. Cartwright is in- 
cluded in Chapter XXIII. Her step-father built 
and managed an inn at Mount Morris, returning 
to his farm after remaining there for a short 
time, and going to California at the time of the 
discovery of gold on the Pacific Coast. His son 
Henry, who was drowned in the West, was also 
an "Argonaut of '49," as was likewise Daniel G. 
Shottenkirk, of Lafayette Township. "Uncle Dan 
Shottenkirk," as he was familiary known to the 
people of Ogle County, died April 16, 1907, at the 
Sinnissippi House in Oregon, having attained 
almost the Biblical "if by reason of strength they 
be fourscore," but still possessing his remarkably 
accurate memory and ability In figures. He had 
been for many years prominent in the business 
and public affairs of the county; being an ex- 
ceptionally skillful accountant, he was often 
called uix)n to straighten out mathematical dif- 
ficulties occurring among the county records, and 
on the books of business firms and citizens. His 
character as a man was quite as reliable as his 
equipment of mind. Among other earlier and 
later residents, have been John R. Chapman. John 
Cross, A. J. and Levi Drummond, (the death of 
the latter occurring iu 1907, at the age of seventy- 
five), James Quick, T. W. Hunt. D. S. Huston, 
Justice Davis, Daniel and J. M. Hardestj-, I. B. 
Kested. R. H. Luckey, Charles Dugdale. .John and 
Mary S. Payne, Paul Pfetzing, William and 
Nancv Hardestv Tilton. Elijah and Rachel Til- 

ton, John Weeks. G. W. Weatheriugton, C. H. 
Cyrus and Peter Yorty, William A. Hunt, G. W. 

There are two church organizations in Lafay- 
ette Township, The Christian Church, which is 
across the creek west of the Chapel Hill Cem- 
etery and near the northern boundary, was or- 
ganized about 1840. The tii'st minister was the 
Rev. John Walworth. The church is a frame 
structure. The Rev. G. A. Brown, now living in 
Oregon but still preaching occasionally, was in 
charge of this congregation from 1880 to 1883. 
The Rev. Adelbert Welch has been the last res- 
ident minister. One of the first Sunday Schools 
of the county was organized in this church. The 
Church of God, which is known by a familiar 
New Testament name, Anrtoch, was established 
over forty years ago, the Rev. J. JI. Stevenson 
and the Rev. Henry Cullom being among its first 
ministers, and the denomination being organized 
under the direction of the Lanark Church. The 
Rev. Eldred G. Marsh, recently from the State of 
Iowa, has charge of the Antioch Church in con- 
nection with the "Stone Church" at Oregon, in 
which place he has his residence. 

There are three school districts in the town- 
ship ; the Yorty School, District No. 108, east of 
the center ; District No. 109, Prairie Star School, 
in the northwestern part ; and District No. 110, 
Antioch School, not far from the church of the 
same name. 

The township was organized in 1850, since 
which time the following have been the Super- 
visors: 18.50— Thomas Paddock; 1851— Hiram D. 
Woods; 18.52-53— Milliken Hunt; 1854— C. C. 
Royce; 1855 — A. J. Drummond; 18.56 — Aaron 
Weeks; 1857-59— D. G. Shottenkirk; 1860-62— 
Aaron Weeks ; 1863- J. G. Gibson ; 1864— Aaron 
Weeks; 1865-06— D. G. Shottenkirk; 1867— 
Thomas Paddock; 1868 — J. Lyman Frost. 1869-74 
—Daniel G. Shottenkirk; 1875-80— S. D. Clark; 
1881-85— William A. Hunt; 1886-89— Daniel G. 
Shottenkirk; 1890-08— William A. Hunt. Other 
oflicers at present are: Town Clerk, W. A. Dun- 
ston ; Assessor, V. W. Wood ; Tax Collector, 
Edward Reed; Justice of the Peace, A. C. Dug- 
dale ; Highway Commissioners — Herman Mall, 
William Leahy, Charles Payne ; School Treas- 
urer. N. A. Petrie. 

One of the present institutions of Lafayette 
Township is a musical organization which fre- 
quency is called upon to add life and gaiety to 
outdoor festivities and public celebrations. Mr. 


George Orner, leader of the Lafayette Band, was 
recently presented with a $35 baton in recogni- 
tion of his service as a teacher and leader in 


(By .Jonathan Hiestand. » 
Leaf River, one of the northern tier of Ogle 
County Townships, is bounded .on the east by 
Byron, soutli by Rockvale and Mount Morris 
Townships, west by Maryland Township, and 
north by Stephenson and Winnebago Counties. It 
was organized as a township in 1850. The Surface 
is undulating. Originally it was well timbered, 
the western half being l£nown as North Grove. 
At present there is but little of the primitive 
timber left, the greater portion of the soil being 
under cultivation. The stream of Leaf River 
traverses the entire township, its principal trib- 
utary being Mud Creek, which joins the larger 
stream near the village of Leaf River. 

THE Early Settlers were principally from 
the State of Maryland, with a few New Yorkers 
and Germans, the first of the pioneers coming 
about the year 18.37. Among "-he earliest were a 
Mr. Snyder, David Hunter and Joseph Myers, 
followed soon after by W. C. Saulsbury, long a 
Justice of the Peace ; Allen Beebe, Reuben Odell, 
Jacob Myers, Jacob Piper, John Light. Alvah 
Gaffin. Elias Thomas, Samuel McCreary, John 
Wright. Leroy Highbarger, Noah Speaker, Jacob 
Strouse, William Knodle, Benjamin Holden 
(from Kentucky), Euglehardt Fosler, Benjamin 
Hiestand, Henry AVagner, Jacob Zeigler, Amazon 
Ryder and sous (John and Seth). Heury Hiller, 
Henry Hess, Nathan and Fleming Welch, William 
and James McDaniel, John Kitzmiller, John 
Heller, Henry Schrader, John L. Smith, Chris- 
tian Trine and John Her. 

Schools and Churches. — The first school, as 
far as positively known, was kept by Sarah Car- 
penter in 1844, the building being a log house 
about two and one-half miles northwest of the 
village of Leaf River. It is said by some that 
an earlier school was taught in Section 15, and 
that Mr. Davis and Mr. Stone were the first 
teachers, in a log house built there for school 

.\mong the earlier itinerant preachers were 
Nathan Jewett, Elijah Ransom and Aaron Cross 

of the Methodist persuasion, and who held ser- 
vice at the school houses and at private dwellings. 
One of the first deaths was that of Mrs. 
Frances Hiestand Hayes, the interment being at 
the Rice cemetery in the adjoining township of 
Mount Morris. 

A Notable Crime. — In October, 185.3, occurred 
the only homicide in the hl.story of the town- 
ship, the victim being Horace Gaffin. The latter 
got into an angry altercation with Mr. Bailey, 
his brother-in-law, when Nathan Bailey, a son. 
took part, striking and killing Mr. Gaffin with 
the seat-board of the wagon. Mr. Bailey left 
the country, and on account of the nature of 
the affray and the close relationship of the 
parties, no attempt was made to capture him. 
The interment of Mr. (laffin was also at the 
Rice cemetery. 

Lightville Village. — The village of Lightville 
was laid out in 1848 by John Light, the owner of 
that as well as the adjoining land. A isostoffice 
called Wales was established In 1850, Fleming 
Welch being Postmaster. ' Subsequently the post- 
ofiice and store were conducted by John Light, 
Samuel McCleary and J. B. Bertolet. 

Railroads. — The township is traversed by two 
railroads, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, a 
double-tracked road running across the township, 
and the Great Western crossing the northeastern 
part of the township. Upon the latter road are 
situated the villages of Myrtle and Egan, both 
being stations from which there are large ship- 
ments of grain and stock. 

Leaf River Village. — The village of Leaf 
River Is located on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul Railroad at the junction of Mud Creek, the 
upper stream of this name, with Leaf River. 
It was laid out in the winter of 1880 and 1881 
by J. M. West and C. E. Gaffin, and at present 
has about 600 inhabitants. The village is incor- 
porated and its officials are G. W. Finkboner, 
President ; S. P. Allen, E. S. P.vpher, W. A. Schel- 
ling. J. D. Palmer. H. L. Eyrick, B. H. Gaflin, 
Trustees; P. T. Allen. Clerk, and William T. 
Hanger, Police Magistrate. It has a large, well 
lighted and ventilated school building, situated in 
the .south part of the village. There are about 
150 pujnls, the present principal being H. E. 
Truax. There are three churches, the Methodist 
Episcopal in charge of Rev. J. C. Jones; the 
Christian, whose pastor is Rev. R. W. Pitman; 



aud the United Brethrou (Radical), presided 
over by Rev. T. O. Loomis. 

The village boasts of five fraternal orders, 
viz. : The Jloderu Woodmen. Mystic Workers. 
Odd Fellows. Knights of the Globe and the 
Court of Honor. J. F. Harrison Is the present 
Postmaster, having acted in that capacity- for 
sixteen years. 

It has one bank, established in 1SS8. reor- 
ganized in 1907 as the Leaf River State Bank, 
the President being F. L. Ayres ; Directors. J. H. 
Newcomer, JI. J. West. F. L. Ayi-es and H. S. 
West. The first President was .1. H. Newcomer ; 
first Cashier, F. E. Stitley. 

The "Leaf River Mirror." newspaper, published 
weekly, is owned and edited by J. W. Allen. 

Business Enterprises and Professions. — The 
village has two grain elevators and a well- 
patronized creamery. The hotel is conducted 
by Eli Icely and has a fair patronage. Two 
blacksmith shops are conducted, severally, by 
Bert Embick and James Powers : two livery 
barns operated by John Myers and P. T. Allen ; 
a drug store by S. C. Butterfield; dry -goods 
stores by D. M. Myers. J. B. Palmer and John 
Sprecker & Co. 

Leaf River has three physicians. Doctors J. 
T. Kretsinger. H. E. Bowerman, and W. H. Re])- 
logle : one veterinary surgeon. Dr. W. A. Ham- 
mond, and one dentist. Dr. W. E. Pmner. 

Township Officials. — The present township 
oflicials are : Supervisor. C. G. Pyper ; Assessor, 
Melvin Strickland; Clerk, J. F. Harrison; Col- 
lector, E. H. Heiter ; Justices of the Peace, Joseph 
S. Myers and F. E. Hoverland; Constables, 
James Wilier. John Myers. Highway Commis- 
sioners, Daniel C. Hoover. David S. Forrest, 
Alfred Malone; School Treasurer. J. B. Bertelot. 

The Supervisors for the township have 
been : William C. Saulsbury, 1850 ; Elias Thomas. 
18.51; Nathan Welch. 1852; William C. Sauls- 
bury, 1853; Elias Thomas, 1854-59; Samuel J. 
Beeler. 1860; Samuel McCreary, 1861; Enos 
Butts. 1862; Hiram S. Marks. 1S6.S-64; John W. 
JIack. 1865-66; Levi Kretz'inger, 1867-69; John 
W. Mack. 1870-72; J. B. Bertelot, 1873-77; S. 
W. Bowerman, 1878-79; Joseph H. Newcomer, 
1880-85; Martin Light. 1886-88; Alfred Malone, 
1889-96; Joseph H. Newcomer. 1897-1900. Martin 
Light, 1901-04; Chester G. Pyper. 1905-08. 


(By Jonathan Hiestaud.) 
This township comprises all of Congressional 
Township No. 24. Range 8. It was organized in 
1870, the east half then belonging to Mount 
Morris, and the west half to Brookville. In its 
primitive condition it was almost entirely prairie, 
a small portion of West Grove e.xtending into 
the northeast comer. The quite early settlers, 
here, as elsewhere, shunned the prairie, and 
chose the timber as the most congenial location. 
Here settled those pioneers. Jacob and Jonathan 
Meyers in 1837. Absalom and John Harmon. 
aud Samuel Mitchell came in 1838; Michael 
Brantner in 1839 ; Robert Lawson, Aaron and 
James Billig, Martin Rodermal, Daniel and 
Emanuel Stover in 1840 ; Jacob Price and George 
Avey in 1845. Others, before and after, were 
Michael Garman, Sr., Daniel Arnold, Benj. T. 
Hedi-iek. Lyman and Joel R. Carll, Jacob and 
William Phillips, David Butterbaugh, John Ham- 
mer, Jonas Shafstall, Isaac Kimbel. Jacob Long. 
.Joshua Slifer. Peter Eager, Henry Kitzmiller, 
Jacob Mase and Simon Geeting. These sturdy 
aud industrious pioneers came mainly from 
JIaryland and Pennsylvania. 

Railroads. — The township has two railroads, 
the Illinois Central, and the Chicago and Iowa. 
After the advent of the former road the settle- 
ment took rapid strides. Within its borders are 
two small villages. Haldane (originally Campus) 
and JIaryland. Though scant in population, 
these stations ship annually vast quantities of 
grain and livestock. Haldane took its name 
from Alexander Haldane, who came in 1856, from 
Edinburgh, Scotland. He engaged in business, 
and became its first Postmaster. The present 
post-office official is R. R. Hedrick. 

The village of Maryland was laid out in 1873 
when the Chicago & Iowa Railroad was built. 
The first Postmaster was Mr. Bull, the ])resent 
official being Lester Sollenberger. 

Mr. Fundeburg is thought to have been the 
first teacher. The township is now well supplied 
with schools and churches, among the latter 
being the United Brethren at Haldane, tn'o Ger- 
man Baptist churches — the Old Order, west of 
Maryland, and the other about ti\-o miles east 
of that place. One of these Brethren churches 
was the first in the township, the first preacher 
being Elder Jacob Long ; the present Elder is 
Samuel Plumb. There is also a church north of 

(^^A^3^4-«^ ]\euiMjUtAJ^ 



the same village. Besides, tliere are two Ger- 
man churches, a school house, and a beautiful 
cemetery situated in the southwest corner of 
section number 1, in the northeast corner of tljc 
township. It has, perhaps, as little waste land 
as any other of its sister townships, and is almost 
entirely under cultivation. There being no 
large towns, the people are devoted almost ex- 
clusively to agricultural pursuits, and as a con- 
sequence, they are more than ordinarily thrifty 
and prosperous. A pauper is rarely seen within 
the borders of its precincts. 

Official Rostek. — The present roster of towoi- 
ship officials is : Supervisor, Urias Brantner : 
Town Clerk, H. H. Harmon ; Assessor, R. R. 
Hedrick; Collector, I. L. Leek; Justices of the 
Pence, J. W. Scott and R. R. Hedrick; Consta- 
ble. Levi Diehl ; Highway Commissioners, Henry 
H. Newcomer, John Ver Teen. Grant Harmon. 

Since the organization of the township the 

follo\^ing have been the Supervisors : Isaiah 
Speakerr 1870-71 ; William T. Curry, 1872; James 
Pettigrew, 187.3; Benjamin T. Hedrick, 1874; 
R. D. McClure, 1875-76; Warren Curry, 1877- 
79. Michael Garman, 1880; Peter McKerral, 
1881-83; Levi Hanshaw, 1884; L. P. Rowland, 
1885-89 ; Jasper W. Scott, 1890-94 ; Urias Brant- 
ner. 1895-1908. 

Schools. — The following statement regarding 
the schools of Lincoln Township has been ob- 
tained from the office of the Superintendent of 
Ogle County Schools : 

In 1907 there were 370 persons under twenty- 
one years of age, 25.3 of whom were of school 
age. Of the latter number 163 were enrolled in 
the schools. The township was divided into nine 
school districts, and one male and nine females 
wore employed as teachers, receiving salaries 
ranging from $32.50 to $50 per month. There 
were nine frame school houses valued at $8,400. 
The amount of tax levy was $3,125. 


This township — in the middle of the eastern 
tier of townships in Ogle County — took its name 
from an early settler, whose name was ilrst be- 
stowed upon the settlement in the northwestern 
part of the township before its organization. 
Tlie first settlements were made about the same 
time as were those in other parts of eastern 

Ogle County, some time in 1837 and '38, near 
Campbell's Grove, which also took its name 
from an early settler. 

Among the early settlers were Dr. Andrews, 
Louis P. Piper, David Edriugton, David Potter, 
Calvin R. Hoadley, William Campbell, Michael 
Cheshire. John Jenks. Calvin Hamlin, Elijah 
Dresser: Ellas, Susan and Daniel Champion; 
Charles Burroughs, Lewis and William Stock- 
ing, Isaac Pullen, John Dresser, David Fletcher, 
.Tohii C. Roberts ; Corydon, Gleason and Louis 
Burroughs; Richard McCray, Wm. Somers. 
Among later residents were William and Eliza- 
beth Ford Bird, Milo H. Blood, John Brown, 
James Carmichael ; Daniel, James A. and Calvin 
Countryman, Harvey and Alvin Countryman ; 
Joseph Dailey, Lyman Dewey, George Drexler, 
.Toshua A. Knight, John Olsen, William F. and 
William T. Perry, Levi Price, Hiram F. Priteh- 
ard, Robert Pullen, Prescott H. Talbot, Joshua 
Whitcomb ; M. L., Lewis and Horace Stocking, 
Patrick Murphy, George Only, Samuel Lamont, 
B. F. Perry, James Elliott. Of these William 
Stocking removed to Rochelle, where he became 
connected with the banking business ; Prescott 
H. Talbot represented the county in the Lower 
House of the State Legislature, but now lives 
at Roekford ; Elijah Dresser, who was con- 
nected with the "Underground Railroad" before 
and during war time, then at Lynnville, now 
lives at the age of eighty-seven at Roekford ; 
B. F. Perry, the present Supervisor for Lynn- 
ville Township, now lives on the farm upon 
which bis father, William T. Perry, who came 
from Connecticut, located in 1855. 

Some Eaely History. — The following valuable 
and original record of Lynnville Township his- 
tory has been prepared by Mrs. Florence Haw- 
thorne Bailey, granddaughter of a pioneer fam- 
ily, the older history having been given to her 
by Mr. Elijah Dresser, who, with Mrs. Mary Bur- 
roughs Stocking, constitute the only ones left of 
the earliest residents of this region : 

"Though in a mixed, unsettled state of society, 
the people early established religious worship 
on the Sabbath, meetings being held in Calvin R. 
Hamlin's log house, a local preacher by the name 
of Sovereign coming over from Kishwaukee. One 
Sabbath after service, a member of the congre- 
gation started in to take up a collection for the 
minister. He at once stopped him, saying he 
would not take anything, and that no one should 
say that he preached the gospel for money. 



"On the 25th day of March, 1839, the first 
white child was born in the town of Lynnville, 
in a log cabin on Section 191. The baby was 
given the name of Angeline Campbell, and be- 
came the wife of N. C. Burroughs, now of Rock- 

"The first man known to die here was Will- 
iam Campbell, who died March 11, 1841, aged 
fifty-one years, and was buried in the grove 
about 100 rods north of where his daughter 
Angeline was born. The land has been cleared 
of timber and the grave cannot now be located. 

"Dr. Andrews, living in a double log-house 
east of the creek, was the first Postmaster, ap- 
pointed in 1845, and died the next year. The 
first school was taught during the summer of 
1846 by Mrs. Dr. Andrews in her own house. 
The next summer (1847) Lucina Ross was 
teacher for $1.50 per week, she boarding round 
in the district. The following winter, the school 
was taught by Chas. C. Burroughs west of the 
creek in the front room of Calvin R. Hoadley's 
house, for $15 per month, he boarding in his 
own house. About all the recreation the young 
people had during the long winter evenings was 
the spelling school, many married people joining 
in the sport. 

"The first public celebration of the Fourth of 
July was held in the town in 1848. A spacious 
bower was built at the intersection of the Ore- 
gon and Byron roads, people coming in from all 
around with well-filled lunch baskets. Elder 
Tomas from Monroe was chaplain of the day, 
and a young man fi-om Roclcford named Mc-Cary 
was orator. The prayer had been said and the 
oration was well under way, when suddenly a 
four-horse team, hitched to a lumber wagon, was 
seen approaching on the Byron road at a fast 
gait. Driving up in front of the stand it was 
found to be loaded with a consignment of fugi- 
tive slaves from Missouri — five in number, three 
men and two women. All was confusion for a 
time, but being about noon, the lunch baskets 
were brought out and all fed liberally. They 
then drove on to the next station and the cele- 
bration went on. 

"The driver of the team was a man named 
Shafer, from the west part of the county near 
North Grove. This incident marked the open- 
ing of the 'underground railroad' on this route, 
Lynnville becoming a relay station from that 
time until the outbreak of the Civil War. It is 
said that Elijah Dresser, now living in Bockford, 

fearless of the law, acted as station agent, and 
frequently as conductor over the underground 

"The neighbors were aware of the fact that 
Mr. Dresser's house was a station on the line, 
but such was the respect in which he was held 
and so great the sympathy with his work, that 
the fact was scarcely ever mentioned, even among 

"At an early date in the settlement of the 
town C. R. Hoadley built a saw mill on the 
creek just east of the Lynnville Union Church. 
It was a slow-running concern and some wag 
christened it the 'Tri-weekly Sawmill.' This 
same .year the first school house was built on the 
east side of the creek near the northwest point 
of Perry's Grove. It was built of native hard- 
wood, cut in the grove, and sawed in the 'Tri- 
weekly Sawmill.' Being the only school in a 
wide extent of country for some years, some chil- 
dren attended it from the towns of Monroe and 
White Rock. 

"Up to this time Lynnville and Monroe had 
been included in one precinct. The towns now 
separated and organized by electing town offi- 
cers. Chas. Burroughs was elected the town's 
first Supervisor ; Louis P. Piper, Justice ; B. 
Dresser, Assessor, and Gleason Burroughs, Con- 
stable and Collector. The first assessment of the 
town was made on two sheets of fool's-cap, the 
fee for going over the township and doing the 
work being $5.00." 

[An incident of this period was the mysterious 
killing of a man named Miner, who had come to 
that locality with another named Slater, from 
the vicinity of Chicago the year previous. The 
two men had become bitter enemies and Miner 
was found dead in his cornfield early one Sep- 
tember morning in 1850. Slater was arrested 
on suspicion and. after being held in jail at Ore- 
gon for a year and undergoing a sensational trial, 
was acquitted. The lawyers for the defense 
were H. A. Mix of Oregon, and a Mr. Marsh of 
Rockford. while the prosecution was conducted 
by a Mr. Stillmau (son of Gen. Stillman of Still- 
man Valley), but who was removed by the Judge 
on account of intoxication during the trial, an- 
other attorney being appointed to take his place, 
who was assisted by Attorney Holland of Rock- 
ford. By the end of the trial Slater's hair had 
become prematurely gray. After being liber- 
ated, he di.'ipo'icd of his property and left the 



"In its early settlement, the town of Lynnville 
was served with a tri-weekly mail, carried from 
Sycamore to Oregon on horseback or by road- 
cart. Later the Frink & Walker Stage-coach 
Company secured the contract and ran a four- 
horse coach tri-weekly from Chicago to Galena. 
Still later the mall was brought by stage from 
Holeomb until the building of the Chicago Great 
Western Railroad in 1S87. 

"As late as 1851 there was no public burying 
place in the town, friends burying their dead 
usually on their own premises. This same year 
John Dresser made a donation to the town of 
two acres for a public cemetery, located in the 
northwest corner of Section 8. The cemetery 
now has a fund of $1,000, which is to be perpet- 

"At an early date the Wesleyan Methodist 
Church was organized. As the population in- 
creased, a Christian Church was formed, and 
a little later, an Episcopal Methodist, these three 
organizations for a number of years holding 
services in the one school house on alternate Sab- 
baths. This proving unsatisfactory, a subscrip- 
tion was started and funds obtained, resulting 
in the erection of the present 'Union Church of 
Lynnville,' which has been iu use for the past 
forty years. The Holy Scriptures are accepted 
as the only rule of faith and practice, and 
Christian character as the best ground of fellow- 
ship. The Rev. Mr. Trueblood is now the pastor. 

"One of the lamentable events connected with 
the early history of Lynnville Township was the 
hanging by a mob of the Driscolls (father and 
son ) . They were executed at Washington Grove, 
their bodies being brought home and buried on 
their own land. Some of their de.scendants are 
living in the neighborhood greatly respected by 
their friends and neighbors. (The main facts in 
connection with this event are told in the county 
history part of this volume.) 

"The Chicago Great Western Railroad was 
built through the town in 1887, after which a 
new village sprang up. The new town spread 
toward the old until now both villages are called 
Lindenwood. In 1890 two large sheep sheds 
were built by the Railway Company for housing 
and feeding sheep; and 10,000 sheep can be fed 
at once. They are now managed by R. F. Quick 
& Son. In 1005 other sheds were added and at 
present the capacity is 30,000. They also con- 
trol grazing for the same number. A large ele- 
vator has been built for the storage of grain 

and teed, the yearly consumption of grain being 
aliout 4,000 tons and 1,500 tons of hay. 

"The school building becoming inadequate a 
new one was built in 1895, a fine two-story struc- 
ture with two school rooms on the lower floor 
and a large hall above. A fine small library 
and a good piano are owned by the school. The 
present teachers are Miss Margaret Wray, Prin- 
cipal, and Miss Ruth Marget, primary teacher. 
The following constitute the present School 
Board: M. D. Stocking, President; R, L. Dres- 
ser, and J. F. Bailey, Clerk. 

"In 1903 a cozy parsonage was built. The 
Ladies' Aid Society of the Union Church main- 
tains a fine lecture course every year. 

"An elevator built in 1890 is now owned and 
run by H, Stocking & Son. They also run the 
lumber and coal yards. 

"In the town is the largest and best equipped 
blacksmith shop in the county, owned and oper- 
ated by Strang Bros., and drawing trade from a 
radius of ten miles. 

"The town has two stores : J. F. LufC's and 
O. D. Talbot & Co.'s, the latter containing the 
post-oflice. O. D. Talbot is a veteran of the 
Spanish-American War." 

An attractive writer, now a resident of Oregon, 
but a teacher in Lynnville Township, in the 
early 'TOs, closes a contribution to this chapter 
with the following reference to the northeastern 
part of Lynnville Township, which was settled 
by a colony from England, "all related by birth 
or marriage" : 

"Thirty-five .years have brought changes to 
country and people. The writer drove through 
this district early iu the present summer (1908), 
and, lo! this region is no longer romantic, rural 
England, but practical, progressive America! 
The hedge-rows have been cleared away, the 
lanes have disappeared, with one or two excep- 
tions, and the new commodious farm houses are 
located on the highway. The very surface of 
the country is changed, for swamp lands have 
been tiled, and where were sloughs in which 
grew only pickerel weed, blue flags and cat-tail, 
now are fields of growing corn and rich meadows ; 
not so picturesque, but more profitable. 

"Most of these pioneers are now dead, but the 
names of Holmes and Greenway and Batty and 
Wadey and Moon and Greenowe and Clark still 
live in their descendants, and iu the memory of 
friends in ad.1oining districts. Their toil and 
thrift and sturdy integrity have had their part 



ill the (ievcloiiiiK'iit of Lyiinville Towusliip." 

Rev. C. B. Scliroeder, present pastor of the 
Limlenw'ood Gormau Evangelical Lutheran 
Church, furnishes the following facts in refer- 
enoe to the history of that religious organiza- 
tion : 

"As near as 1 ran tiiid out the Germans came 
here as early as 1S02. In that year Karl Broitz- 
niaii came and worked around Lindenwood sev- 
eral years, and then bou.ght a farm one mile north 
of Holcomb, where he still resides. He came 
from Pomerauia, a province of Prussia. After 
1802 the Germans came in quick succession. In 
1865 Louis Schumacher, from the Duchy of 
Mecklenburg, Germany, and in 1868 his brother 
Fred Schumacher; both are living yet, Louis in 
Esmond and Fred one mile north of Lindenwood. 
Others came in the sixties, who have died or 
moved away." 

From the church record of the Evangelical 
Lutheran Church in Lindenwood, which com- 
mences 1872. Jlr. Schroeder gives a long list of 
citizens from different parts of Germany who 
settled in Lynnville Town.ship, but a number of 
whom removed to Iowa in the 'seventies. The 
Lindenwood church now has about 5.5 male mem- 
bers over twenty-one years of age. 

The first physician in Lynnville, and the first 
in that part of the county, was Dr. Daniel Gif- 
ford, who came there from the State of New 
York. When, later, the village of Monroe was 
incorporated, Dr. Gifford removed to that place, 
his being the fourth house in the new location, 
though he did not live many years after to 
occupy it. 

In the Lindenwood Cemetery is the monument 
erected recently in memory of a soldier of the 
Revolutionary War, which is told about in Chap- 
ter XI. At the time of the dedication of the 
monument the stone was unveiled by Harry Wil- 
loughby, a great-great-grandson of Rufus Phelps. 

The Lynnville and Monroe Mutual Fire In- 
surance Company was organized in Lynnville 
Township early in the '70s. It is a farmer's 
company and Its business as conducted has been 
very satisfactory. The present officers are: 
President, H. T. Knight; Secretary, O. D. Tal- 
bot; Treasurer, Horace Stocking; Directors — 
B. F. Perry, .Tames Carmichael, H. T. Knight, 
Joseph Holmes. .Tr.. Horace Stocking. .T. T. Tal- 

In 1884 a Town Hall was erected in a some- 
what central location in Section 17. 

The following have served as Supervisors since 
the township was organized in 1850 : C. C. Bur- 
roughs, 1850; C. R. Hoadley, 1851 : David Fletch- 
er, 1852; L. P. Piper, 1853; John Dresser, 1854- 
.55; David Fletcher, 1856-57; John Cook, 1858- 
.50; William F. Perry, 1860-65; Elijah Dresser, 
1866-07; William F. Perry, 1868; David Fletcher, 
1861); Alvin Countryman, 1869-71; William F. 
Perry, 1872; John Brown, 1873; Alvin Countr.y- 
man, 1874; Alonzo Countryman, 1875-76; P. H. 
Talbot, 1877; John Brown, 1878-79; Joshua A. 
Knight, 1880-82; James A. Countryman, 1883- 
86 ; Prescott H. Talbot, 1887-89 ; James A. Coun- 
tryman. 1890-1900; Daniel Sullivan, 1901-02; 
Horace Stocking, 1903-05 ; B. F. Perry, 1906-1908. 

The township officers for 1908-1909 are ; Super- 
visor, B. F. Perry; Town Clerk, Oscar D. Tal- 
bot ; Assessor, George M. Teo ; Tax Collector, 
Ottis Bump; Justices of the Peace, Herbert T. 
Knight and Edgar Confer ; Highway Commis- 
sioners — James H. Sharp, Joseph Wadey, Robert 
L. Dresser: School Treasurer, O. D. Talbot. 


The first permanent settler of Marion Tovra- 
ship was John Whitaker. who came fi-oni Putnam 
County in 1836, after moving eleven years earlier 
to Illinois from Virginia via Kentucky, having 
tarried a short time in the latter State, where 
he was married. He located his claim in 1835 
on Sections 4, 5 and 8, and erected a rude cabin : 
after which he returned to Putnam County and 
brought his family north the following year, 
traveling by ox-team. He was accompanied by 
Aaron Paine, for whose family another cabin 
was built, hut later the latter settled at the 
place which afterward became known as Paine's 

In March of the same year, Seth Noble left 
Northern Ohio, near Elyria, whither he had 
gone three years before from New York, and 
.iourneying across Michigan and around the 
Lakes to Chicago, there to purchase certain 
supplies, and then continuing westward, on 
July 15th his four yoke of oxen had brought 
him, his family and their possessions to their 
destination, on Section 22 of Marion Township, 
Ogle County, as now known, but then Black 
Walnut Grove of Jo Daviess County. Until their 
cabin was built, the family lived for a short time 
in .1 ciibin which had lieen vacant at the mouth 


of the Kishwaukee. Mr. Xoble Uad been to the 
h^nd the year before and had broken a strip of 
gi-ound one rod wide and fifteen rods long, as 
was the custom to mark his claim, and had also 
laid up four rows of logs as a foundation for a 
cabin, the better to hold the claim. Later he 
owned land al.^o in Sections 23. 25 and 27. At 
first neighbors were distant two miles. 

Harry Spauldiug came in 1836 and pre-empted 
a claim on Section 24, bringing his family in the 
fall of the following .year, the journey from 
Bradford County, Pa.„ occupying forty days. In 
1837 John Eyster came from Berks County, Pa., 
and settled on Section 21. In 1838 Joshua Wliite 
came from Loudoun County, Va., and located on 
Section 2, and Thomas A. Young.s from near 
Cleveland, Ohio, bought claims to several hun- 
dred acres in Marion and Scott Townships. The 
last uamed crossed the Chicago River on a ferry, 
that village, then of 3.000, still having no bridge. 

Other settlers who came to Marion Township 
from 1836 to 1856 were L. O. Bryan, David 
.luvenal, E. Payson Snow, Daniel Currier, the 
names of whose eastern homes were not obtain- 
able ; Deacon David Lewis. John Carr and Pres- 
ton S. Gardner, from Massachusetts ; Dr. A. E. 
Hurd, Charles Wilbur, Smith Hall, Timothy 
Brown, and Joseph B. Hagamau, from Xew York ; 
Asa Spauldiug, George Spaulding and Eli M. 
Chaney, from Virginia ; John D. Frane, George 
Northup and .Joshua D. Harleman, from Penn- 
sylvania ; Daniel Weld and F. W. Wilco.N:, from 
Vermont: John Gwynn and William Bleaker, 
from Maryland : Solou S. Crowell. from New 
Hampshire; Ruleph Bird, from New Jersey; 
A. M. Trumbull, from Connecticut ; and Freemau 
Woodcock, .John Atwood, Peter Traxler and Isaac 
Sovereign, from Canada ; also Samuel Shelley 
from Pennsylvania. i:>r. A. E. Hurd was the 
second County Superintendent of Schools, in 
1857 and 1858; Joshua White represented the 
county in the Twenty-First General Assembly as 
a member of the House ; Thomas A. Youngs' son, 
Ogden B. Youngs, was Representative in the 
Twenty-Sixth General Assembly, 1868 to 1870. 

Black Walnut Grove was the point of attrac- 
tion for the early settlers, then other groves, 
and lastl.v, as always, the prairie. The nearest 
postoffiee was Dixon, until Frink & Walker's 
Express brought the postofiice to Byron, previous 
to which the mail was obtained from Dixon once 
a week by taking turns in driving the twenty- 
five miles for it. To have milling done, it was 

necessary to go to Ottawa, or Bcloit. The first 
mill in Marion Township was Nettleton's, at the 
mouth of Stillman Creek, then called Old Man's 
Creek, This mill was afterward owned by Free- 
man Woodcock, who "rau it till after the War." 
Daniel Weld also had a mill, and there were 
several others. Now the mills of those early 
times are gone from their well-adapted sites, 
and the mills which provide the bulk of the 
flour used to-day are situated much farther away 
than Beloit, or Ottawa, the nearest place, per- 
haps, being Minneapolis. 

Coming of Foreign Immigrants. — To the 
western part of the township came a number of 
German farmers at a later date. Perhaps the 
first was Andrew Schaeffer, about 1850. He soon 
purchased a quarter-section of land for which 
he paid .$800. Half was paid down, and the 
seller remarked that Mr. Schaeffer would never 
own the land. But good land, good farming and 
German thrift were equal to that and more, and 
the balance of the money was paid over in due 
time. Mr. Schaeffer became well-to-do and was 
highly respected. Two of his sons were educated 
for the ministry and are now preaching in Iowa. 
Others who came about the same time aud later 
were Fredericlc S. Erxleben, from Magdeburg. 
Germany, Geerd Reeverts, from near Hanover, 
Prussia ; Henry Nuppenau, Andreas Roos, Meint 
Telenga, Jacob Telenga, Hans Roos, Peter Hy- 
enga, Meine Baum.gardner, Albert Ehmen and 
Arend Esraan. These citizens still cling to the 
German language in their religious services, 
singing hymns and listening to sermons m the 
speech of the Fatherland in their churches in 
Rockvale Township and at Paine's Point. 

Swedish people began coming to Marion Town- 
ship years a.go, and have continued moving in 
until now there are, perhaps, 250. fifty of them 
being voters. About one hundred are in Still- 
man Valley, where two stores are conducted by 
them. Some upon renouncing their allegiance 
to King Oscar and their native Northland, came 
direct to Stillman Valley, but most are from 
other portions of Illinois. The first of the 
Swedish-Americans to engage in business in Still- 
man Valley was Peter N. Alfors, who opened a 
tailor shop in 1895, and having .ioined with him, 
as a partner, Andrew Johnson, in 1902, the firm 
of Alfors and Johnson is doing business now in 
merchant tailoring and in men's furnishing goods. 

Stillman Valley. — The site of the first trag- 
edy of the Black Hawk War, Stillman's Defeat. 



has become the location of the pretty village of 
Stillman Valley, named from the depression 
caused by Stillman Creek and readily observed 
as one looks from the historic spot of the battle. 
The village was platted in October, 1S74, on land 
of Joshua White. The Chicago, Milwaukee & 
St. Paul Railroad Company was then building 
through the township, so that the village started 
with railroad facilities, and twelve years later 
had a second railroad, the Chicago and Great 
Western. Instead of one mail in seven days, as 
in pioneer times, there are now seven mails in 
one day. There are five general stores, two of 
which are owned by men of Swedish birth. A 
grain elevator, doing an extensive business at 
the tracks of the Chicago & Great Western Rail- 
road, is owned by F. H. Griggs. The Armour 
Company have one at the tracks of the other 
road. A bank is conducted by Charles H. Wil- 
bur, Albert C. Brown, James H. King and Fred 
C. Baker, the first and second being President 
and Cashier. T. C. Johnson does an extensive 
business in the making and shipping of cider and 
vinegar. As many as one hundred carloads of 
apples have been shipped in to feed his press, 
besides using the apples of the surrounding 
region. The product Is marketed all over the 

Chx'rches. — There was an organization effect- 
ed for church services in the township as early 
as lS.5i by the Baptists and in 1S58 by the Con- 
gregationalists. The former meet for worship In 
a neat wooden building erected a number of 
years ago. The membership numbers fifty. At 
the present time there is no regular pastor. The 
latter possess an attractive brick church of 
Elizabethan architecture, costing when built in 
1S95, about $9,000. There are 200 members. The 
pastor is Rev. Charles Bruner. There are also 
two Swedish 'congregations, each of which has 
its own place of worship. The one is known as 
the Free Mission Church, of which the present 
pastor is Rev. E. O. Carlson. The other is 
called the Christian Mission, at the head of 
which is Rev. Carl A, Malme. 

Schools. — One of the first schools, i)erhaps the 
first, was taught in one end of the log house of 
Seth Noble on Section 22, in 1837 and 18.38, by 
a Mr. Sheldon. There are now ten school dis- 
tricts in the township, including that of Still- 
man Valley where the building, erected a number 
of years ago and added to since then, represents 

a cost of al)out $tj,000, and where the enroll- 
ment is 115, with five teachers. There is a four 
years' high school course. Miss Margaret 
Skaggs is Principal. The directors are Lovejoy 
Johnson, E. L, Osgood, and D. C. Robbins. 

The ground forming the half-acre around the 
sjMt where had occurred the burial of nine of 
the twelve militiamen killed in the outbreak of 
the Black Hawk War, when Black Hawk made 
his famous sally against Major Stillman's volun- 
teers, was never allowed to be plowed over by 
its owner, Joshua WTiite, who entered the quar- 
ter-section, including this historic six)t. fourteen 
years after the battle and remained in possession 
of it until his death in 1890. Later the half 
acre, with land adjacent, was platted and be- 
came a part of the village of Stillman Valley. In 
1899, when the lots comprising it were offered 
for sale at public auction, the citizens of Still- 
man Valley, with patriotic forethought, organ- 
ized the Battle Ground Memorial Association, 
and incorporated the same under the laws of 
Illinois, with Lovejoy Johnson, President ; John 
A. Atwood, Secretary ; and J. J. White, Treas- 
urer. The Association then obtained by subscrip- 
tion .$1,000 and purchased the lots, which were 
soon beautified by planting trees, laying cement 
walks and terracing. The Forty-Second General 
Assembly was asked for an appropriation of 
$5,000 for a monument, which was obtained, 
chiefly through the efforts of Henry Andrus in 
the Senate and James P. Wilson in the House, 
and there now rises from the spot a shaft of 
Barre-granlte with convex corners, giving the 
appearance of four column.?, resting upon a stonp 
base bearing suitable inscriptions, and surmount- 
ed by the figure of heroic size of a citizen sol- 
dier, the whole fifty feet in height. Dedicatory 
exercises were held on July 11, 1902, when an 
address was made by Judge Lawrence Y. Sher- 
man. A survivor of the battle was present in 
the person of William Copes of Atlanta, 111., then 
lunety-one years of age. The names of the 
militiamen who perished in the onslaught of 
Black Hawk's forty warriors are Captain John 
G. Adams. Sergeant John Walters, Corporai 
James Milton and Privates Isaac Parkins, David 
Kreeps, Zadoc Mendinhall, Tyrus M. Childs, 
Joseph B. Farris, Bird W. Ellis, Joseph Draper, 
James Doty, and a scout named Gideon Munson. 
The graves of Bird W. Ellis and Joseph Draper 
are not by the monument, but at distant points, 
while the grave of James Doty is unknown. 

^ VVlAA^eL' 




Local Press. — The village newspaper, the 
"Stillman Valley Graphic," is owned, published 
and edited by John A. Atwood. It was started 
December 1, 1890, by Clara M. Wayland, who 
sold out in 1891 to Anna M. Atwood, who after 
two years of ownership and management, dis- 
posed of the propertj- to its present owner. The 
local news is carefully given and the "Graphic's" 
influence is a factor in the community's welfare. 
In 1901, before the Old Settlers' Association, Mr. 
Atwood read a paiier giving the story of Still- 
man's Defeat and the newly erected monument 
referred to above, which account was afterw^ard 
printed in pamphlet form, and was used as a 
source of information by the writer hereof. 

Township Officebs. — The members of the 
Board of Supervisors for the township of llarion 
since its organization have been as follows : E. 
Payson Snow, 18.50-.5l; Dauphin Brown, 1852- 
53; Joshua White, 18.54-70; A. M. TMimbuU, 
1871; Joshua White, 1872; O. B. Youngs, 1873- 
74; A. F. Brown, 187.5-SO; James H. King, 1881- 
82; James D. White, 1883-85; Ogden B. Youngs, 
1886-87; James D. White, 1888-94; George H. 
Brown, 1895-1900; Samuel H. Aguew, 1901-08. 
The other officers for the year 1908, for Marion 
Township, are the following: Town Clerk, Cal- 
vin Balier : Assessor, G. H. Brown ; Tax Col- 
lector, Joseph H. Rock ; Justices of the Peace. 
John A. Atwood and W. H. Sovereign ; Consta- 
bles, Thomas Carmichael and J. E. Stowell : 
Highway Commissioners, G. J. Garnhart, Sam- 
uel A. White, Oliver C. Fish; School Treasurer, 
Fred C. Baker. 

( By Jonathan Hiestand. I 
Maryland Township, in the northern tier of 
Ogle County townships, is bounded on the north 
by Stephenson County, on the east by Leaf River 
Township, on the south by Mount Morris and 
Lincoln, and on the west by Forreston Township. 
In area it comprises 36 sections, equaling a con- 
gressional township, embracing the east half of 
Township 25, Range 8, and the west half of 
Township 25, Range 9 east, of the Fourth Prin- 
cipal Meridian. Originally a great part of the 
town w-as well timbered, but at present the 
greater portion is under cultivation. The prairie 
land was in the western and northern part of 
the town. The surface is undulating, and the 

district well watered, Leaf River, its principal 
stream, running the entire area from west to 
east. Commencing at or near North Forreston 
is a range of gravel banks extending nearly to the 
Village of Adeline, called by geologists moraine 
terraces. The township has one double-track rail- 
road, known as the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul. The station is about three-quarters of a 
mile south of the Village of Adeline, which name 
it bears. The date of settlement was in the 
year 1837, the early settlers being chiefly from 
the State of Maryland and Germany, the latter 
coming direct from the Fatherland. 

Pioneer Settlers. — Among the pioneers were 
David J. Baker, and William C, Baker, the lat- 
ter, now well advanced in years, but still hale 
and hearty, residing in Adeline. Others were 
Henry Etnyre, Samuel Blair (father of J. F. 
Blair) ; Samuel W., Abraham and Nathaniel 
Coffman ; Samuel McFarland, Isaiah and Jere- 
miah Miller ; Enos, Dr. Samuel I., and Hezekiah 
Jacobs ; Joseph and Daniel Newcomer, John C. 
Foster, Henry Omholtz, Henry Byerly, Emanuel 
Morrison, E. M. Sheller, John A. Ettinger ; Allen, 
William and Nathaniel W. Beebe ; Henry. Jacob 
and Christian Dovenberger ; John B. Cooley. 
Daniel Erdman, Samuel Rinehart, Andrew Row- 
laud, Jonathan Wagner, Daniel W. Stouffer and 
Frederick Timmer, Louis Fosha, the Veitmeyers 
and Brockmeyers — the latter consisting of four 
families from Germany. 

The township is extremely fertile, well adapted 
to stock raising, and with exception of the land 
bordering on Leaf River, is mostly under culti- 

Village of Adeline. — The Village of Adeline 
was laid out in 1845 by John Rummel, the owner 
of the surrounding laud. Hon. T. J. Turner of 
Freeport purchased a lot. and the town was 
named Adeline for Mrs. Turner. The village was 
incorporated in 1882 and has about 250 inhab- 
itants. Mr. Rummel kept the first store as well 
as the postoflice. The first postoffice of the town- 
ship was about three miles north of the village. 
Following Mr. Rummel, stores were kept by 
Julius P. Smith, late of Byron, M. H. Philbrick, 
George W. Mitchell, Christian Fosler, I. A. Fosler 
and G. R. Rummel. and A. J. Mitchell. 

There are three churches, a Methodist, Luth- 
eran and United Brethren. 

.\mong its Postmasters were .John Rummel. 
Nathaniel Landis. Stephen Hicks. G. W. Mitchell, 



Dr. Reicheubacli, Emanuel Morrison, John Mum- 
ma, W. S. Graham, I. A. Fo.sler, Freeland Little, 
the present Postmaster being John Milhaven. 

The village has a fine school building, of two 
rooms, erected in 1808. The first principal was 
Miner L. Seymour, followed by such prominent 
educators as J. W. Gibson, George Blount, Franli 
Cooper, S. M. Grimes and H. P. White. The 
present Principal is H. Mclutyre. 

On May 18, 1898, the village suffered a serious 
injury, being swept by a branch of the terrible 
cyclone which devastated a portion of Ogle 
County. A number of buildings and the bridge 
over Leaf River were wrecked and two of its 
citizens liilled. 

Township Officials. — The township officers 
at present writing are: Supervisor, J. F. Shafer; 
Clerk, F. H. Stukenberg; Assessor, J. S. Ettin- 
ger ; Collector, Henry Omholtz ; Justices of the 
Peace, J. E. Seibert and J. H. Eakle ; Constables, 
J. F. Shafer and U. S. Cain; Highway Com- 
missioners — H. T. Miller, C. F. Long, and Ellas 
Timmer. The Supervisors for the township have 
been the following: Samuel Mitchell, 1850; 
John A. Ettinger, 1851-52 ; Eiias Rowland, 1853- 
54; N. W. Beebe, 1S55 ; John A. Ettinger. 185(1- 
59; Ellas Rowland, 1860-65; Jeremiah Miller, 
1866-67; George W. Mitchell. 1868-78; William 
Sloggett, 1879-80 ; Joseph S. Myers, 1881-85 ; Wil- 
liam Sloggett, Jr.; 1880; George Rummel. 1887- 
08; C. W. Downey. 1899-1900; George Rummel, 
1901-05; J. F. Shafer, 1906-08. 

VAi.uAnLE Mineral Discovery. — The following 
interesting matter pertaining to Maryland Town- 
ship Is taken from the "Ogle County Reporter," 
November 25, 1908: 

"Men prospecting for mineral deposits on the 
William Hamilton farm near Adeline. Ogle 
County, were rewarded a few days ago, after 
digging a considerable dist.-mce. by coming across 
a vein or ore. The deposit is known as kaolin 
and is quite valuable. The sample taken out 
has been assayed and is found to be sixty-hve 
per 'cent pure kaolin, which retails in drug 
stores at twenty-five to thirty-five cents a pound, 
and in large quantities is worth from $45 to 
$125 per ton. A company will be incorporated 
with a capital sufficient to place the company 
on an easy work basis. The mine is so situated 
that no trouble will be met with removing and 
shipping the ore. From the small excavation 
made with iiick and shovel about five tons of the 

material have been secured, this, too, before strik- 
ing the vein proper. The material is susceptible 
i.f many bi-prodncts, as firebrick, chinaware, and 
paint pigment, etc. The company will pay most 
attention to the medical qualities, as they are 
very valuable and in demand." 

This township is situated in the northeast 
corner of the county, and consists mostly of rich 
prairie soil, which, in these later days and closer 
proximity to market, is of considerable value, 
farming lands well improved selling in the neigh- 
borhood of Monroe Centre as high as $150 per 
acre. Some timber is still found skirting the 
waters of Killbuck Creek, which flows through 
the township on the western side, meandering 
across the line, in a ueighlwrly manner, into 
Scott Township and back again before it empties 
into the Kishwaukee after leaving the County of 
Ogle. This stream takes its rise in the township 
of Dement and flows through Lynnville Towb- 
ship before reaching Monroe. It received its 
name in Dement, as John Brodie. who must have 
had some redeeming trait among his sinister 
qualities, named this creek for a stream near his 
former home in Ohio. One of the histories also 
ascribes the naming of the stream to the Dris- 
colls, for like reason. One of the very valuable 
pulilications of the Illinois Historical Society 
contains literal copies of some letters in the 
Canadian Archives at Ottawa. Among these is 
a letter from Cooshocking, January IS, 1779, to 
Mr. John Montour, which is signed "Galalemend." 
This signature was the name of a Tuscarawas 
Chief (a Delaware Chief) who was an Ameri- 
can partisan. In English he was known as 
Captain John Killbuck, and it is this name of 
this friendly, trusted, noble Indian Chief, which 
the stream in Ohio bore, and which is peri>et- 
uated in the "Killl)uck Creek" of the Rock River 
Valley. The Creek is about the size of Leaf 
River and affords the residents of the township, 
who are fond of outdoor sports, a pleasant out- 
inir in suitable parts of the year. 

Early Settij:rs. — Among the early settlers in 
this township were Henry and Betsy Brooks 
Crill, Asa and Fanny Tupper Tyler. W. W. and 
Amanda Covey Bennett, Austin and Ruth Lord 
Lines, John P. Earl. Joseph W. Hall, Thomas 
and Nancy Vandawalker Miller, Peter J. Shaule, 


George Bressler, Joseph Sweeney, Abraham Hess. 
Henry Grill settled in the township in 1S43. 
coming from the State of Pennsylvania, and 
locating upon a tract of land comprising about 
1,500 acres. Thomas, John J. and William Grill 
were his sons. The Rev. Austin Lines came in 
184,'i, and was ordained a minister in the same 
year, living till September 13, 1886, when he 
passed away at the age of S3 years, the life of 
ilrs. Lines closing soon afterwards at about the 
same age. In 1886, some time before Mr. Lines' 
death, it was said of him "there is no individual 
who has been in the conference in this district 
as long as he!" Thomas H. Lines is a son of 
this pioneer divine, and lives on the same tract 
purchased by his father in 1845. Joseph W. 
Hall came in 1850; John P. Earl in 1849; 
Thomas Miller in 18-18 ; Peter J. Shaule in 1S54 ; 
George Bressler in 1848 ; Abraham Hess in 184!) ; 
Jesse J. Cook in 1848; David A. Cipperly in 

Among other settlers and residents are Justus 
H. Gain, Austin and Warren Walker, Willard 
Woodworth, Herman Wright, L. M. Tale, Alfred 
Yager, William A. Glark, C. C. Chandler, P. A. 
Goonradt, James E. Corbet; Harvey, L J., 
Michael and Orlando F. Grill; August Drager. 
Willard W. Earl, Dr. Alonzo J. Edsou, John and 
Clarinda King Eychaner, Frank Eychaner, 
George W. Farber, Albert Field, Joshua File, 
Mrs. Barbara Ann Fullerton, Dr. Daniel GifCord 
(his only daughter, Lillian, now Mrs. Joseph 
Sears of Oregon), Frederick, Henry and Lewis 
Hildebrand, Xormau Hitchcock, Gottlieb Horn. 
Jared W. and De Forrest Knapp, James MeCul- 
lough. Frederick Nashold, John and Thomas 
Reed, .John Schaad, Riley Sweet, James and 
Anna Blackman Turley, Horace C. and Silas D. 
Tyler, sons of Asa Tyler, w-ho lived to be almost 
a centenarian. It was upon his farm that the 
village of Monroe was located in 1875, being laid 
out in 1875 by his son Silas D. Tyler, who now 
lives in Rockford, where also is living his son, 
Charles C. Tyler, several years ago Circuit Clerk 
of Ogle County. The son Horace C. Tyler was 
the first to be buried in the new cemetery by 
the young village. This cemetery was laid out 
upon a beautiful plan, an open space being left 
in front for the planting of shade trees. 

Monroe Center. — Immediately after the found- 
ing of the village of Monroe the old post-office of 
Monroe Center was moved to the new location, 
l)Ut the malls of Uncle Sam still keep the old 

postal name. The completion of the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway through the 
township, was the immediate cause of the 
starting of the village of Monroe, and this rail- 
way now has a double line of tracks passing 
from Chicago to the Mississippi River. The site 
(if the village is an attractive one, being on 
somewhat of an elevation. Many of its resi- 
dents at the present time are farmers who have 
reaped well where they have sown, and now are 
en.ioying retirement from active toil in comfort- 
able and handsome modern homes. A desirable 
feature of the village is that it has always been 
a temperance town, with the licensed saloon un- 
known. The village is furnished with electric 
lighting, and some private gas plants have been 
added more recently. Several towni pumps pro- 
vide the water supply, in the still old-time 

The first houses in Monroe were built by 
Horace C. Tyler, Jesse J. Cook, DeForrest Knapp 
and Dr. Gifford. The first store building was 
erected by Charles Fisher, who placed in it the 
first stock of goods for sale ; following him was 
John Roberts, and after him his son, T. S. Rob- 
erts, who continued the business. A drug store 
was soon opened by Dr. Knowles of Cherry Val- 
ley, and a hardware store by Hiram Wilson. 
Hildebrand & Chandler were his successors in 
1877, after which the firm became Hildebrand 
& Eychaner. The second general store was 
owned by Skeels & Snow, who began business in 
1870. Sidwell & Company of Chicago completed 
a warehouse soon after the railroad was finished, 
and an elevator was then built by a .ioiut stock 
company composed of citizens of the place. This 
was purchased from the company iu 1882 by 
Sipley & Jones. A livery stable was opened at 
once by Horace C. Tyler, which, after his death 
in 1870, was for some time owned by John Earl. 
Hildebrand & Chandler, in 1882, and after them, 
Ciijperly & Grill, were engaged in the furniture 
trade. Andrew Main started a blacksmith shop 
in 1875; a shoe shop was added to the ILst of 
businesses in 1877, which was owned by Joseph 
Freidhauer in 1885. Thomas Martin began the 
manufacture and sale of harness in 1879, con- 
tinuing in business for some years. A hay-press 
was built in ISSo by Smith & JIcAllister. The 
first hotel was built in 1876 by James Sturgeon, 
who was its jn'oprietor till 18S0, when he was 
succeeded Ijy Frederick Storz. A meat market 
was opened in 1877 by William Earl, who also 



managed the first restaurant, afterward con- 
ducted by William Krist. Joliu E. Thompson 
afterwards carried on the meat business. C. C. 
Chandler, of Hildebrand & Chandler, owned a fine 
fruit farm near the village for some time after 
changing his residence to Evaustou, III. Dr. 
Lewis Hormell, sou of the Mexican War veteran 
of the same name, who once practiced medicine 
in Monroe Center, now is settled in the "Land 
of the Dakotas." Doctor J. F. Snyder and Dr. 
Harry G. Davis, son of the well-known pioneer, 
Jeremiah Davis, were practicing physicians in 
the village soon after its start. Dr. Davis and 
Dr. Snyder still continue in practice at Monroe 

The Methodist Episcopal Church was erected 
in 1876. and the building remodeled a year ago. 
The congregations of Monroe Center and Fair- 
dale, the latter across the county line in DeKalb 
County, are united now under one pastorate, a 
parsonage being connected with the church in 
Fairdale. The present minister is the Rev. E. W. 

A two-story public school building was erected 
here about 1881, to which an addition was made 
a short time ago. It is prettily located at the 
top of a slope, and the school has always had 
good teachers and a reputation for progi-essive- 
ness. The present primary teacher is the daugh- 
ter of a highly respected early settler and has 
taught here close to twenty years. The first 
school was a very successful private one, taught 
by Miss Anna Wright, who studied at the Wells' 
School. Mr. Wells once lived near Monroe Cen- 
ter, being engaged in teaching. The teachers in 
the Public School at present are G. W. Jamieson, 
Principal ; Assistants, Miss Ella Hogan and Miss 
Mary Clark. Primary Department. 

About 1800 and for a period after that, a 
newspaper, the "Monroe Mirror." was published 
by Edward Elliott. 

The Monroe Center State Bank was estab- 
lished July 17. 1903. The first officers were F. A. 
Eychaner, President; C. A. Crosby. Vice-Presi- 
dent; F. A. Hildebrand, Cashier. The same 
reliable officers are still in charge of its sub- 
stantial business. The Bank is owner of the 
building it occupies and has a capital of $25,000. 

There are at the present time two elevators, 
one owned by C. A. Crosby and the other by 
Wellington Nashold. A general store is con- 
ducted by Tyler & Raup. one of the partners 

being a son of Silas D. Tyler. An implement 
store and harness-shop are owned by the present 
Supervisor of Monroe Township, W. H. Grill. 
Other thriving businesses are being carried on — 
hardware, furniture, grocery, drug stores, livery 
barn and restaurant being among the number. 
Excellent bakery supplies come daily by rail 
from Rockford and Chicago, with no trouble to 
the dealer but to receive them, and no labor to 
the c-onsumer but to purchase them. 

Monroe Center possesses a fine Opera Hall, a 
frame building of two stories owned by an in- 
corporated stock company, and which is used for 
public purposes on the first floor, and for lodge 
rooms on the second. 

Monroe Center has about three hundred in- 
habitants, but is not incorporated. Since 1877 
the Town Hall has been located at the village, 
it having been moved there from its former 
location after considerable opposition. 

The "Lynnville and Monroe Mutual Fire In- 
surance Company of Ogle County, 111.," was or- 
ganized September 13, 187.3. The first officers 
were: President, William F. Perry; Secretary, 
Daniel Gifford ; Treasurer, A. H. Warren ; Direc- 
tors, Elijah Dresser, Wm. F. Perry, Harvey 
Countryman, Albert Field, Austin Clark, Horace 
Tyler, A. H. Warren, John Brown, Daniel Gif- 
ford ; Surveyors, Joshua Knight, Horatio Graves, 
Joseph Holmes, Norman Hitchcock, Joseph Hall, 
Thomas Lines. 

Township Officers. — Monroe Township was 
organized in 18.50, and since that time the follow- 
ing have been the Supervisors. Austin Lines, 
18.50-54; Allen Light, 1855; Austin Lines, 1856- 
57; James Well.s, 1858-62; R. M. Thomas, 1863- 
04; William A. Clark, 1865; Albert Field. Jr.. 
1866-68; Herman Wright, 1869-70; Albert Field, 
Jr., 1871-75; Herman Wright, 1876-77; S. S. 
File. 1878; Albert Field, 1879-83; Thomas S. 
Roberts, 1884-86 ; Walter M. Smith, 1887 ; T. H. 
Lines, 1888-80 ; Cyrus C. Conant. 1890-01 ; Frank 
A. Eychaner. 1892-06; W. B. T.vler, 1897-1901; 
Frank A. Howe, 1902-07; W. H. Crill, 1908. 

The other officers for the township in 1908 are : 
Town Clerk. W. A. Fisk ; Assessor, C. ,G. Ben- 
nett ; Tax Collector, Frank A. Drager ; Justices 
of the Peace, George Higgins and C. A. Crosby; 
Constable. Albert Saara ; Highway Commission- 
er.< — A. W. Drager, George Higgins, Charles W. 
Butler ; School Treasurer, J. F. Snyder. 



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The sturdy pioneer, John Phelps, settled with 
his family on a large tract of land, now partly in 
Mount Morris and partly in Rockvale Townships, 
when the first men came to locate in Mount 
Morris Township, having brought his family 
here in 1835. During the summer of 1836 Sam- 
uel M. Hitt and Nathaniel Swingley came, and 
having spied out the laud, returned to Maryland, 
whence they had come, to bring others to occupy 
the land with them. When they came back they 
found Larkin Baker occupying a cabin and claim 
about four miles southeast of the present site 
of the village of Mount Morris, which land was 
later owned by Daniel Price. Daniel Worden 
had located a mile and a half southwest and one 
or two other settlers had settled in the edge of 
the timber. Squire Hitt and Captain Swingley, 
however, located their claims on the prairie, the 
former taking up 1,000 acres, and later building 
upon it the large stone house now occupied by 
Christian Zumdahl, who with his brother owns 
the Phelps tract. Captain Swingley took up the 
claim, a part of which is now owned and occu- 
pied by William Koontz. 

In the spring of 1837 Hitt and Swingley re- 
turned, bringing with them Michael Bovey 
(whose death has recently occurred at the ad- 
vanced age of ninety-two years), Adam, Daniel 
and John Stover, Balka Niehoff, Samuel Grove, 
Eli Householder, William McDannel, Abram and 
Jonathan Myers, Frederick Finkbonar, and 
others. Of this number Householder, McDannel 
and Daniel Stover were accompanied by their 
wives ; with the Householders was their son 
Peter, then a child of two years, and now still 
residing in Mount Morris. Mrs. Elizabeth Ank- 
ney, with her little son Albertus and daughter 
Anna Amelia, who became Mrs. William Watts 
of Pine Creek, was with this party. This was 
the first group of what came to be called the 
"Maryland Colony," after their eastern home. 
This party came by wagon to Wheeling, W. Va. ; 
by boat on the Ohio, Mississippi and Illiuois 
Rivers to Peru, and by wagon the rest of the 
wa.v. Upon their arrival they lived for two 
weeks in the cabin built by Governor Ford, 
which was then vacant. Their cooking was done 
on a stove brought from the east by Mrs. Ankney, 
and for a while this was the only one of its 
kind in the neighborhood, many making use of 
it for baking their bread. As quickly as 

cabins were erected for the newcomers. The 
first one built in the township was a double log 
cabin on the claim of Mrs. Ankney, about three- 
quarters of a mile southwest of the present vil- 
lage of Mount Morris. In the two small rooms 
of this dwelling lived four families; that of 
Mrs. Ankney, who afterwards married the build- 
er of the original "Old Sandstone." James B. 
McCoy, and the Householders in one ; and that 
of the Stovers and McDannels in the other. 
Solon Crowell, father of the recent State's At- 
torney for Ogle County, who occupied a claim a 
mile north of the village ; Martin Reynolds, who 
had located where was afterwards the home of 
Professor Pinckney ; and David and Benjamin 
Wertz, located on Pine Creek, had arrived in 
the vicinity about this time. 

During the year of 1837 other families came, 
among them John Rice. Sr., John Wagner, and 
the Rev. Thomas S. Hitt. Mr. Rice aud family 
left Washington County. Md., in September, 1836, 
intending to settle in Illinois. The brother-in- 
law of Mr. Rice, John Wagner, Sr.. had stopped 
temporarily in Ohio, en route for the same desti- 
nation, and Mr. Rice with his family remained 
in Ohio over winter. In the spring of 1837 these 
two men came on horseback to Ogle County to 
take up claims, in July, being followed by their 
families with twelve children each. These 
men lived the rest of their lives upon the farms 
they obtained from the Government. The origi- 
nal claim of Mr. Rice is yet in the family, being 
owned by a grandson, Mr. J. L. Rice, whose 
father was Dr. Isaac Rice. "Timothy Bunker, 
Esq.," the facetious editor of the "Cross Roads 
News" of the "Mount Morris Index," is also a 
grandson. Until recently, two daughters, Mrs. 
Daniel Etnyre, of Oregon, and Mrs. Susan 
Thomas, of Leaf River, were still living. Many 
descendants of this pioneer family are still resi- 
dents of Ogle County. "Aunt Kitty Rice," who 
died in Mount Morris, December 26. 1900, at the 
extreme old age of over 103 years, was the step- 
mother of this family of twelve children. 

The claim taken up by John Wagner, Sr., is 
the farm three miles northeast of the village, 
now owned by Mr. George W. Carr. Here this 
family grew to manhood and womanhood, an 
unbroken family circle till ISOl. when Joseph 
died. This family held many enjoyable re- 
unions, the last notable one being in 1896 at the 
home of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob A. Knodle, when 
manv relatives and friends assembled in an old- 



time, out-of-door gathering. Mrs. Hannah 
Knodle, Mrs. Barbara E. McNeill, Mrs. Catherine 
Griffin, of Mount Morris ; Nehemiah, of Chicago ; 
and Mrs. Henry Wertz, of Falls City, Neb., still 
survive. Captain Benjamin Wagner died in 
1898; John, in 1897; Mrs. John Timmerman, in 
1898; Reuben, in 1903; Mrs. Sarah Good, in 
1907; Captain David C. Wagner, in Chicago in 

Among the later arrivals of the year 1837 was 
the family of Rev. Thomas S. and Emily Hitt, 
who came by carriage from Ohio, Mr. Hitt being 
attracted by the favorable reports of his brother 
Samuel, and expecting to continue his ministry 
in the Methodist Church. There were eight chil- 
dren in this family, some of them born in Ogle 
County : Robert R. Hitt, who represented this 
district in Congress with distinction for many 
years ; Mrs. Margaret Newcomer ; Mrs. Maria 
(Hitt) Newcomer, wife of the late Major Charles 
Newcomer ; John, present Deputy Collector of 
Customs in Chicago ; Martin Emery, Thomas 
Morris, who was engaged in government work 
in Washington ; Henry P. Hitt, and Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Wagner, wife of the late Captain Benja- 
min Wagner ; these four having now for a num- 
ber of years lived near Tyndall, S. D. In 1905, 
Robert sent some "historical data" to Messrs. 
Kable Brothers for their "Seventieth Anniver- 
sary of the Settlement of Mount Morris Town- 
ship, Souvenir Edition, Mount Morris Index," 
which included some notes written in a day book 
by his father. The following is quoted from 
these data : 

"My father with his family had arrived Sep- 
tember 22, 1837, and at first for a few days 
stopped with his brother-in-law, Mr. Martin 
Reynolds, who lived where is now the Lohafer 
residence one mile west of where the Seminary 
and village were afterwards erected. In the 
woods, a quarter of a mile west of Mr. Reynolds" 
place, a little log school house was built in 1838, 
the school taught by Mr. Quimby Allen. That 
school was the seed from which grew the Semi- 
nary, and then the College of to-day. On Sep- 
tember 24, 1837, is the entry: "Preached at 
Oregon, Psalms 58:11." On the 28th of Septem- 
ber, 1838, he took up his residence on what is 
now the Baker place, two miles south of where 
the village was afterwards built. It was a large 
farm, a thousand acres, bought for $2,500 from a 
Mr. Painter, and was only a neighborhood 'claim,' 
and $1.25 per acre had still to be paid to the 

government for 'entry.' The deed is in the hand- 
writing of Governor Thomas Ford, then at Ore- 
gon. The next year that farm was sold to Mr. 
John Price, who lived there many years. 

"Meantime Thomas S. Hitt had in 18.38 built a 
houje on his own chosen 'claim,' 960 acres, lying 
just north of where Mount Morris is, and into 
that log house he moved January 18, 1839, and 
it has always remained the family homestead. 
It was of two stories, 16 by 21 feet, and was con- 
sidered a large house. In it during the early 
years church services and marriage ceremonies 
were often held. It has stood 68 years." 

A part of this "claim" is now the Railroad 
Addition to Mount Morris ; and upon one corner 
stands a handsome group of four modern homes 
belonging to descendants of these pioneers of 18.37. 
Martin Reynolds and John Wallace, Sr.. who had 
married sisters of the Hitt brothers, also set- 
tled in this region, the one in 1837, the other in 
1838, the former having already completed a 
house on the site of the later residence of Prof. 
Daniel J. Piuckney, by the early autumn of that 
year. Caleb Marshall and family also arrived in 
1837. His sou, Reuben S., then ten years of age 
but recently deceased, lived for many years prior 
to his death, in the brick country home on the 
pioneer estate. A sister, Mrs. John V. Gale, also 
attained a tine old age, living in Oregon till 1902 
surrounded by several sons and their families. 
John Fridley also came in 1837. 

In the spring of 1838, 'Squire Hitt and Cap- 
tain Swingley returned East for their families, 
and with them came a number of families, many 
of whom remained in this vicinity. From this 
time on the settlement grew to be known as 
the "Maryland Colony." The first teacher in the 
township. A. Quimby Allen, was brought by 
these two pioneers. Others who came in 1838 
and 18.39 were Philip Sprecher. John S. Miller, 
John Smith, John Coffman and family, Henry 
Hiestand and family, Henry Artz and Michael 
Brantner. Mr. Brantner reached the good old 
age of ninety-one, dying in the autumn of 1907, 
at the home of his son Charles, near Maryland 
in Lincoln Township. Henry Sharer, another 
pioneer of this period — "Deacon" Sharer, as he 
was familiarly called — also lived to an advanced 
age. ending his days among his children and 
grandchildren in 1905. Four of his descendants 
still reside in the community, and take an in- 
terest in its affairs — two daughters and two sons, 
Mrs. John Swingley, Mrs. W. W. Wheeler, Mr. 



John Sharer, who for many years has been con- 
nected with newspaper work in the county, and 
Mr. Charles Sharer, who has established in 
Mount Morris College the yearly "Charles Sharer 
Oratorical Prize Contest." Another old resident 
belonging to this family was Mrs. Priscilla 
Sharer, linown as "Aunt Prissy," and then as 
"Grandma Sharer," who survived into the 

In 1840, on July 4th. James Coffman set out 
with his family from Hagerstown, Md., with a 
party to settle in this township. They came by 
team, and William C. Baker ("Uncle Billy 
Baker"), now living in Adeline, is proud to have 
driven one of the "big teams" (four-horse) in the 
Coffman party. They reached their destination 
August 16th. James Hayes was with this party, 
being a millwright, brought by Mr. Coffman, 
who had been a miller in the East, to set the 
machinery in the grist-mill built by him, on Pine 
Creek, Squire Hitt furnishing money to join in 
the enterprise. This mill was burned and Mr. 
Coffman died before the second one was com- 
pleted. It, too, met with disaster, being struck 
by lightning in a storm one Sunday morning. 
A third one was afterwards built, the one which 
is in ruins now : and the dam once supplying the 
water, after being many times washed away in 
the years of high floods, is also gone. 

A saw-mill was established near this creek 
also very early, in Pine Creek Township. The 
mill near Pine Creek was operated for a number 
of years by John Stewart ; then was leased in 
1853 by Messrs. Brayton, Baker and Petrie. who 
fitted it up for an oil-mill. Later they erected 
a large two-story frame structure with stone 
basement, near the southwest corner of the vil- 
lage, running it by steam, and adding a saw- 
mill. This was in charge, for several years, of 
.Jacob Hilger. who came from Germany in 1851, 
and who still lives with his son on a farm in 
the vicinity. This mill was later purchased by 
Messrs. Petrie and Sheets and removed to the 
east side of the river at Oregon, where for 
eighteen years Mr. William Schott, still living 
in Oregon, was the miller. Several years ago. 
this building, having been refitted for the use 
of the Rock River Silver Plating Works, took 
fire in a high gale, and all but the stones of its 
base was burned, leaving a picturesque ruin, 
which the artist, Mr. Leon A. Makielski, of the 
Artists' Colony, has painted in the moonlight. 
Before its removal from Mount Morris, the mill 

was the .scene of two disasters, the oldest son of 
Frederick B. and Charlotte W. Brayton having 
lost his life among the machinery, and Mr. Pet- 
rie being deprived of one hand. In his paper on 
"Early Oregon and the Pioneers," Col. B. F. 
Sheets tells of other losses with this mill. 

The 'forties brought many who were eager 
to make their homes in the new country. 
Among the familiar names connected with this 
period are the following : Jacob Turney, Michael 
Swingley, David Mumma, William Printz, Jonas 
Shafstall, Moses Crowell. Jacob Buck, Daniel 
Wolfe, Joseph Rowe, Jacob Detrick, Samuel S. 
Fonts, Benjamin Myers, Silas Snyder, Adam 
Patterson, Otho Wallace, Solomon Nalley, Henry 
A. Neff, Bartholomew. Benjamin McXett (father 
of John H. McNett), Jacob and Henry Hiestand, 
William Watts, Daniel and F. B. Brayton ; Peter, 
Emanuel. Jonathan, Jacob and .Joseph Knodle ; 
Benjamin Swingley, Frank Hamilton, Samuel 
Newcomer and his sons Charles and Albert, 
George Avey, father of Josiah Avey : Emanuel, 
Henry and Andrew Newcomer, Joseph and Fris- 
bee Watts, Michael E. Miller. 

The "Rock River Register." published January 
1. 1842, by Jonathan Knodle. at Jlount Morris, 
had this item : 

"Mt. Morris was well founded in the spring 
of 1841, and Is now already found, when not 
yet ten months old, to hold 282 souls, inclusive 
of the students and teachers at Rock River 
Seminary, which dignifies the center of the vil- 
lage. This day, January 1. 1842, the citizens 
number 137, and the town consists of twenty- 
one houses. Mt. Morris is five miles west of 
Oregon City, in the same county, and eighty 
miles west of Chicago. It is handsomely sit- 
uated on one of the most beautiful and extraor- 
dinarily fertile prairies which distinguish Illi- 
nois, and especially the Rock River region, for 
abundance and excellence of agricultural produc- 
tions. It is named in honor of Bishop Morris, 
of the M. E. Church." 

Most of the old settlers are of the opinion 
that the name of the village is to be accredited 
to the good Bishop, but Mr. Horace G. Miller, 
now living in retirement at Hinsdale, 111., with 
his son, of the firm of Patton & Miller, Chicago 
Architects, who was then living at Kishwaukee 
and active in his efforts to secure the location 
of the Seminary at that place, and served as one 
of its first trustees, says he bestowed the name 
uixin the town in memory of his own native 



plaoe, Mount Morris, New York. The chroniclers 
of many important facts pertaining to Mount 
Morris history, say in one of their publications : 
"It may be that he (Mr. Miller) suggested tho 
name of his old town, and that the Methodist 
elders adopted it at once because of its being 
in honor of Bishop Morris as Wfll." A happy 
solution of the controversy!! 

Rock River Seminary. — A further quotation 
from tho '■Historical Data" of the late Hon. 
R. R. Hitt, refers to the founding of this attrac- 
tive village of Mount Morris and its famous old 
institution of learning, as follows : 

"In the day book kept by my father, Rev. 
Thomas S. Hitt, and in his handwriting, is this 
entry: 'May 8, 1839. stake stuck on Rock River 
Seminary site.' At that time, as I well remem- 
ber, the high, green swelling prairie, where now 
stretches out Mount Morris, was for miles per- 
fectly clear, smooth ground, as seen from our 
house three-quarters of a mile to the northwest 
where it still stands. The beginning of the vil- 
lage was at that spot, and at that date, for 
the Seminary was the first house and was long 
the most Important one. In 1852 the larger 
Seminary building, 'Old Sandstone,' a noble struc- 
ture yet, was constructed." 

As no steps were taken to incorporate the 
village of Mount Morris till the year 1.S48, and 
as the rise and progress of Rock River Seminary 
were the heart and life of the community, it is 
proper that the history of this institution should 
be given a prominent place in this volume. 

After the policy of founding an institution in 
Northern Illinois had been approved by the 
Methodist Annual Conference held at Jackson- 
ville in 1838. and a committee appointed for the 
purpose of choosing its location had selected 
Mount Morris for the same, a fund of some 
$8-000 and a tract of 480 acres of land having 
Ve" donated, a building committee, composed of 
Samuel M. Hitt, Nathaniel Swingley and C. Burr 
Artz. was appointed, plans adopted and the eon- 

^A note or memorandum tK>ok now in possession of 
Mrs. Sarah (Hiestand) Rice, contains some facts re- 
latin? to the history of one of the first debating 
pn"ieties in Ogle Count.v. organized on September 25. 
1842. at the old Rice log-schoolhouse. about three 
miles north of Mount Morris under the name of the 
West Wave Lyceum. Joshua Rice was the leading 
spirit In the movement and the society continued In 
existence until 184.5. The memorandum contains a 
list of the principal participants In the debates and 
of the Directors in School District No. 2 In 1843 and 
In 1844. with a list of some seventy volumes con- 
stituting the private library of Mr. .loshua Rice. In- 
cluding text-books covering historical, scientific and 
theological topics. 

tract for the erection of a building was awarded 
to James B. McCoy, for the sum of $18,000. By 
July 4. 1830, sufficient progress had been made 
to lay the cornerstone. So great was the inter- 
est in the undei'caking, that people came from a 
distance as far as forty miles, to witness the 
ceremony. The exercises were conducted by the 
Rev. Thomas S. Hitt, who later was appointed 
agent of the institution, and managed its affairs 
for many years ; and it was his son. the late 
Robert R. Hitt, who, when the seminary had run 
its course of usefulness and encountered finan- 
cial obstacles, took upon himself the ownership 
of the place with which several branches of his 
family had been associated from 'its beginning. 
(For a concise history of the Seminary during 
the forty years of its existence ending in the 
year 1879, and what afterward became Mount 
Morris College, now being conducted under the 
auspices of the United Brethren denomination, 
see Chapter XXIII of this volume, under the title 

The Principal of the Seminary was Prof. 
Joseph N. Wagconer. next Rev. Daniel J. Pinck- 
ney. Others who later acted in the same capac- 
ity include Prof. S. R. Thorpe, Dr. J. C. Finley, 
Prof. S. M. Fellows, Rev. Carmi C. Olds, Profs. 
George L. Little, Spencer S. Matteson, W. T. 
Harlow, John Williamson, O. F. Matteson, Rev. 
J. M. Caldwell, Rev. R. H. Wilkinson, and Dr. 
Sarah Hackett Stevenson. 

Among the preceptresses were Cornelia N. 
Russell, Ruth R. Carr, Electa V. Mitchell, Al- 
mira M. Robertson (who in 1847 married Wil- 
liam Williams Fuller, a lawyer of Oregon, and 
uncle of Margaret Fuller). Eunice A. Hurd. 
Rosalie D. Blanchard, Sarah A. Steele, Mary E. 
Hoverland, Harriet Fowler, Carrie E. Mumford, 
Clarinda Olln, Mrs. M. C. Catlin. Stella Chap- 
pelle, Florence Farnsworth, and Charlotte B. 
Smith, afterwards Mrs. O. L. Fisher. 

Among well-kno^ni students and graduates of 
the Seminary have been the following: Albert 
Deere. S. Jf. Fellows, James C. T. Phelps, Wil- 
liam J. Mix, Gen. W. H. L. Wallace, Gen. M. R. 
M. Wallace, Capt. John F. Wallace. Margaret C. 
Hitt, Helen M. Jud.son Beveridge, Elizabeth Rey- 
nolds Sanger, Robert R. Hitt, John W. Hitt. Dr. 
Benjamin G. Stephens, Anne E. (Swingley) 
Phelps, John Hitt, Maria (Hitt) Newcomer, Gen. 
John A. Rawlins, Gov. John L. Beveridge, Sena- 
tor Shelby M. Cullom, Daniel H. Wheeler, G. L. 
Fort. J.uiies H. Beveridge. Henry L. Magoon. 





Moses Hallett, Rev. Dr. Fowler, tbe Farwell 
brothers — H. J., John V.. and Charles B., — George 
W. Curtis, Judge James H. Cartwright, Judge 
John P. Hand, Judge Theodore D. Murphy, Judge 
Edmund W. Burke, Judge Lucien C. Blanchard, 
Gen. Smith D. Atkins, Fernando Sanford, Col. B. 
F. Sheets (who was the valedictorian of his 
class), J. C. Seyster, Ella Vinacke Seyster, Al- 
phonso G. Newcomer, Henry C. Newcomer, Ralph 
Waldo Trine, Katherine McNeill Hoffman, E. A. 
Ray, John T. Ray, Charles H. Sharer, Judge 
Merritt W. Pinckney, Judge Reuben C. Basset, 
Edward Carlton Page, Dr. Augustus H. Ankney. 
T. C. Ankney, Rev. John Emory Clark, John B. 
Cheney, John Sharp, Minnie Petrie Satterfield, 
Florence and Isabel Bosworth, A. W. Braytou, 
Hale P. Judson, Dr. Isaac Rice, Jonathan Hles- 
tand. Dr. Thomas Winston, Robert M. Cheshire, 
William A. Meese, Lillian Farwell Cushing, Dr. 
Anna Gloss (Medical Missionary in China at time 
of Boxer rising). Rev. George W. Crofts. Wil- 
liam P. Jones. 

Township Organized. — Under the Township 
Organization Law, enacted in February, 1849, the 
township of Mount Morris was organized, a 
year later the first town meeting being held in 
the chapel of the Seminary, April 2, 1S50, and 
town oflicers chosen. D. J. Pinckney was mod- 
erator of the meeting, and Benj. G. Stephens 
clerk. The election was by ballot (107 voting) 
and the following were elected the first officers : 
Supervisor, James B. McCoy; Town Clerk, A. Q. 
Allen ; Assessor, M. Garman ; Collector, Jonathan 
Knodle, Sr. ; Highway Commissioners, Abram 
Thomas, Jacob Myers, Henry Hiestand ; Consta- 
bles, Peter Knodle, Henry I. Little ; Justices of 
the Peace, James M. W^ebb, Henry I. Little ; 
Overseer of the Poor, Benj. G. Stephens. The 
following have been the Supervisors from that 
date to the year 190S : 1850, James B. McCoy ; 
1851, Benjamin T. Hedrick ; 1852, Andrew New- 
comer ; 1853, Joel R. Carll ; 1854, Samuel Garber ; 
1855-58, Ellas Baker; 1858, Daniel Sprecher ; 
1859-61, Francis A. McNeill ; 1861, John W. Hitt ; 
1862-69, B. T. Hedrick; 1869, John W. Hitt; 
1870-73, Charles Newcomer; 1873-79, John W. 
Hitt; 1879-89, M. E. Getzendaner; 1889. Reuben 
S. Marshall; 1890-93, H. H. Clevidence;1893-97, 
William Stahlhut ; 1897-1905, George V. Farwell ; 
1905-08, Lewis C. Sprecher. 

Of the important offices which men from Mount 
Morris To\A'nship have filled are the following: 

Member of Congress (House), Hon. R. R. Hitt; 
State Senators, Prof. Daniel J. Pinckney, Dr. 
Isaac Riee ; Illinois Representatives in General 
Assembly, Samuel M. Hitt, Prof. D. J. Pinckney, 
Dr. Francis A. McNeill, Dr. Isaac Riee, Franklin 
N. Tice; Sheriffs of Ogle County, Elias Baker, 
Charles Newcomer, Frederick G. Petrie, Ben- 
jamin R. Wagner; County Judge, James M. 
Webb ; County Surveyors, Joshua Rice, A. 
Quimby Allen ; County Superintendent of Schools, 
Eldridge W. Little, Joseph M. Piper; County 
Coroner, Dr. W. W. Haues ; County Commis- 
sioner, Henry Hiestand ; Members of Constitu- 
tional Conventions, Daniel J. Pinckney, Charles 
Newcomer ; State Game Warden for Ogle County, 
C. H. Whitman. 

Village Incorporated. — A mass meeting was 
held in the chapel of the Seminary January 8, 
1848, at which it was voted to incorporate the 
village of Mount Morris. At a meeting held on 
January 15, 1848. the first trustees were elected : 
A. C. Marston, Andrew Newcomer, James J. 
Beatty, Jonathan Knodle, Sr., William McCune. 
At the first meeting of trustees held a week later, 
of the eight ordinances passed was one forbidding 
the sale of intoxicating liquor. President of the 
^'illage Board of Tnistees, have been: D. A. 
Potter, Elias Baker, Andrew Newcomer, James 
Clark, .James B. McC^y, F. B. Brayton, Samuel 
Knodle, Henry Sharer, Martin T. Rohrer, Samuel 
Lookabaugh, Henry I. Little, B. G. Stephens, 
H. H. Clevidence, John W. Hitt, Charles New- 
comer. Isaac Rice, David Newcomer, W. H. Jack- 
son. W. W. Hanes, A. W. Brayton, J. E. McCoy, 
William D. Davis. 

The first postoffice was established In Mount 
Morris In 1841, with Rev. John Sharp as Post- 
master. The mails were brought by stage until 
the building of the railways, and for a long time 
the postoffice was kept in a store, the Postmaster 
usually being the store-keeper, including, Fred- 
erick G. Petrie, F. B. Brayton, O. H. Swingley. 
Following Mr. Swingley the Postmasters up to 
the present time have been : Henry Sharer, 
Franklin N. Tice. John E. McCoy, Holly C. Clark. 
Upon tbe completion of the Seibert Block, the 
postoffice was located there, where it has since 
remained, Mr. McCoy purchasing the modern 
fixtures which are now a part of it. 

Public Schools. — After the Pine Creek Gram- 
mar School became the primary department of 
Rock River Seminary, private schools were con- 



ducted in some of the homes of the village. 
About 1845, perhap.s, a building for public school 
purposes was erected where the residence of Wil- 
liam H. Miller now is located. A list of the many- 
boys and girls of Mount Morris who attended 
this school includes many familiar names, 
Thomas C. Williams, Gussle Williams (now Mrs. 
Charles V. Stonebraker), Samuel Rohrer, Frank 
Baker, Merrit Pinekney, Harley Hedges, Frank 
Knodle, Edward Sharp, Ella Funk (now Mrs. H. 
J. Grlswold), Lottie Rohrer (Mrs. William A. 
Newcomer), Libbie Allen (Mrs. R. D. McClure), 
Florence Brayton (Mrs. W. M. Gilbert), Lillie 
Brayton (Mrs. W. H. Miller), Lizzie Guy, Charles 
H. Allen, are a very few of the pupils of that 
time. Among the teachers were John Page, 
Hannah M. Cheney, Holly Allen, Sibyl Sammis, 
Helen CofEman, Enoch Coffman, Hattie Little. 

The present substantial stone building vtas 
erected in 1868, largely through the untiring 
efforts and broad-mindedness of Mr. H. J. Far- 
well, who served as President of the School Board 
(torn 1865 to the time ot his deatli in 1S!10. The 
tost of the building was $10,000. During the 
summer of 1908 i stone addition, costing $6,200, 
was completed, the first structure having been 
puiTwsely planned to allow of this enlargement. 

Among the Principals who have had charge 
of the Mount Morris Public School are Miss 
Frances B. Hoverland (now Mrs. Charles Craw- 
ford), Joseph M. Piper, Horace G. Kauffman, 
Virginia Brown, B. E. Berry, Rebecca H. Kauff- 
man, (teacher, also), Alphonso G. Newcomer, C. 
W. Eguer, S. A. Long, Mary MeClure. Among 
the teachers have been Florence Hoverland (af- 
terwards the wife of Dr. Benjamin G. Stephens), 
Holly C. Clark, Lottie Waggoner, Lillian Far- 
well (Mrs. H. W. Gushing), Elsie West, Emery I. 
Neff, Fannie Stephens, Antoinette Shryock. Lil- 
lian Hess, Lulu Kable, Anita Metzger, Charles R. 
Holsinger. The first class to complete the pre- 
scribed course, as laid out by Professors Piper 
and Kauffman, srriduated in 1878. To this num- 
ber belonged Susie MeCosh (now Mrs. Charles H. 
Sharer), Eva Davis (Mrs. Jonas Petrie), Fred 
Knodle, Harry Little, Charles Davis. Since the 
time when this first class held their commence- 
ment, many other graduates of this school have 
been made happy by having its diploma bestowed 
upon them for diligent and thorough work, and, 
while the writers of this history know so many 
of them "by heart", it is not possible within the 
limits of this volume to refer to any others, either 

graduates, pupils or teachers. The President of 
the Board of Education at the present time is 
Mr. J. L. Rice. 

Newspapers. — The "Rock River Register" has 
already been referred to. A veteran newspaper 
man of Ogle County, Mr. John Sharp, now of 
Pasadena, Cal., referred to elsewhere in this his- 
tory, furnishes the following regarding early 
newspaper publications : 

"In the spring of 1850, the old 'Mt. Morris 
Gazette' issued its first edition. This was the 
genesis of the continuous publication of news- 
papers in Ogle County. Prior to that date sev- 
eral attempts had been made to establish papers, 
first in Mt. Morris, then in Grand Detour, and 
again in Mt. Morris, these all proving failures 
after a few numbers had been issued, but at no 
time since the 'Gazette' appeared, in 1850, has 
the county been without a weekly news-paper. 
The event of its birth is well remembered by the 
writer. The office was in the basement of the 
old brick store building which then stood on one 
of the corners east of the Rock River Seminary 
campus, the building having been built by Rev. 
John Sharp, father of the writer. It was the 
most important event of the town, and most of 
the few people living there were present at ita 
accouchement. The papers, as they came from the 
old Smith elbow-joint hand-press, were largely 
taken as souvenirs, and it was considered that 
the town had now acquired an institution which, 
together with the Rock River Seminary, entitled 
it to be considered the literary center of North- 
western Illinois." 

Mr. Samuel Knodle and Mr. John Sharer, both 
active in newspaper work, have their names as- 
sociated with the papers that have been published 
in Mount Morris, Mr. Sharer being at the present 
time on the staff of the "Mount Morris Index". 
Mr. Knodle ended his very useful life but recently 
at the home of his daughter, Mr.s. John Walker, 
of Oregon, reaching beyond the four score years, 
with his bright mental capacity unimpaired. The 
papers following those alluded to by Mr. Sharp, 
were variously called the "Northwestern Repub- 
lican", "Independent Watchman", "Ogle County 
Pres.s" (afterwards developed into the present 
"Tri-County Press" of Polo). "Mount Morris In- 
dependent". "Ogle County Democrat" and the 
"Mount Morris Index". 

Chitkches. — The church denominations of 
Mount Morris are the Methodist, the Lutheran. 



the Christian, the Brethren. The Rev. Thomas 
S. Hitt and Rev. Barton H. Cartwright are 
among the early Methodist ministers who were 
assigned to the charge here, the first regular 
services being held in the new semiuar.v, and 
later continued in the seminary chapel until just 
before the erection of the present church edifice 
in 1877. The church was built, at a cost of about 
$8,000. during the pastorate of the Rev. E. W. 
Adams. The Rev. N. R. Hinds is the pastor at 
the present time. 

The first Lutheran minister was the Rev. N. 
J. Stroh. who came from Pennsylvania in 184.5 
and settled in Oregon. 

Father Stroh's long term of Christian useful- 
ness ended in 1897, being then over ninetj'-nine 
years of age, the oldest minister of the Lutheran 
Church, and one of the two oldest residents of 
Ogle County. During the year 1856, at the time 
of the ministry of Rev. George A. Bowers, the 
brick edifice, now used for worship by the Chris- 
tian Church, was erected. One of the pastors, 
from 1858 to 1859, was the Rev. Cornelius Rem- 
mensnyder. The present church edifice in the 
west end of the village was dedicated November 
10, 1878. Rev. L. Ford is the present pastor. 

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 
was organized in March, 1880, the brick structure 
of the Lutheran denomination being purchased 
and remodeled. Jacob Keedy, W. S. Blake and 
Joseph Waggoner were chosen the first trustees : 
Dr. Mershon and C. G. Blakeslee, elders; W. S. 
Blake and Scott Kennedy, deacons. Rev G. W. 
Ross was the first pastor ; the present pastor is 
the Rev. L. F. DePoister. The membership of 
the church is about 100. It has a flourishing 
Sabbath School, a Christian Endeavor Society, 
and a Ladies' Aid Society. 

Mount Morris is said to have had the first 
band in Ogle County, which was formed in the 
.spring of 1845. To-day Mount Morris has still 
a fine musical company in the Mount Morris Con- 
cert Band, frequently instructed by Prof. David 
S. McGosh, composer and teacher. 

There are four burying grounds in the town- 
ship of Mount Morris, the "Old Cemetery", within 
the village limits; Oakwood Cemetery, west of 
town ; Silver Creek Cemetery, several miles 
northeast of town ; and the old Rice Cemetery, 
about three miles north of town, no longer used 
for burials. 

An artesian well was drilled in the year 1895, 
iind a system of water-supply was installed in 

the village. An electric light plant was estab- 
lished by private enterprise during the year 1900. 
The population of the village in 1908 is about 

In 1904 an arrangement was made between the 
Village of Mount Morris and the Mount Morris 
College, by which a part of the College Campus 
has been fitted up as a park under the shade of 
the trees, with a fountain. These grounds make 
a center around which the business places and 
homes of the village cluster. 

Inns and hotels are among the requisites of a 
comnmnity from the beginning. The first regular 
lodging-place was the large red brick house on 
the present site of Frank Keedy's livery bam. 
The red brick house was built by James Clark, 
and conducted by him under the name of the 
"New York House," until he. after a little time, 
rented to Daniel Brayton, and returned to his 
farm. In 1851 W. S. Blair opened Blair's Hotel 
in the brick house which is now the residence of 
Dr. George B. McCosh, whose wife is Mr. Blair^s 
daughter. In 1854, Jonathan Mumma built the 
Eldorado House on the present site of Hotel 
Rohrer, and students, mostly, were its boarders. 
In 1858, It was purchased by J. M. Webb, and 
tor jnany years the "Webb House" was the home 
of large number of boarders, and frequent "tran- 
sients". After the death of Judge Webb the 
hotel was conducted by Mrs. Webb, who was 
the daughter of the sincere, ingenuous minister 
of the Methodist Church of the pioneer days, the 
Rev. W. P. Jones. This hotel was afterwards 
conducted by Mrs. Benjamin Rine. Mrs. Mary 
McCoj-, Andrew J. Long alid Charles Rohrer. The 
Webb House was torn down, and the present 
"Hotel Rohrer" erected upon the site in 1894, 
Jlr. Rohrer dying soon thereafter. The hotel 
is owned at the present time by a stock company 
of Jlount Morris business men. uud^r the man- 
agement of A. T. Olson. 

From the beginning Jlount Morris prospered. 
Settlers were attracted to the neighborhood in 
order to educate their children, the fertile soil 
of the land roundabout affording them a sub- 
stantial living. More inhabitants brought trade 
and soon places of business began to flourish. 
The first store, later owned by A. W. Brayton, 
("Bra.vton's Old Reliable,") was started in Octo- 
ber, 1841, by Rev. Daniel Brayton and son, Fred- 
erick B. Brayton. A one-story brick machine- 
shop was built in 1844 by Baker, Pitzer & McCoy, 
and was torn down in 1876 to make room for the 



present Methodist Church. In this shop were 
manufactured "travelling" threshing machine, 
and "Fountain" reapers. Among business firms 
of Mount Morris from that time to this have been 
those of Samuel Bents, Hitt & Petrie. Wood & 
Petrie. H. J. Farwell, Coffmau Brothers, William 
Little & Sou, George Brayton, John Ankney, T. 
C. Ankney, William Hedges, S. N. Beaubein. 
Jonathan Mumma, Potter & Webb. Atchison & 
Clems, Edward Davis, Sprecher & Clevidence, L. 
C. Stanley, A. H. Kuodle & Co., F. K. Spalding, 
B. S. Cripe, D. S. Cripe, G. W. Deppen, Looka- 
baugh & Middour, B. K. Shryoek, Wheeler & 
Watts. Gilbert & King. Wiugert & Swingley, O. 
H. Swingley, O. E. Marshall. J. M. Hoskiug, J. A. 
Kable, Alfred R. Binkley, Upton Miller, E. O. 
Startzman, A. W. NefE, Calvin A. Potter, Joseph 
Knodle, H. H. Newcomer. Sr.. H. L. Smith. 
George W. Fouke. Peytou Skiuuer. M. F. Noel, 
Mrs. Mary McNeill, Mrs. C. Startzman. MeCosh 
& Mishler, Levi Bear, Mrs. Robert Crosby. 
Brubaker & Sharer. R. E. Arnold & Co.. 
Jonathan Kuodle. S. G. Trine. Peter House- 
holder. Willis Mumma, H. E. Newcomer. Samuel 
Kuodle, Gregor Thompson, Roy Householder, L. 
J. Brogunier, A. M. & W. A. Newcomer, Joseph 
S. Nye, C, E. Price & Co., Baker & Coffman, J. 
T. Stewart, Joseph Patterson. Clark & Wingert. 
Samuel P. Mumma, Peter Funk, Wishard & 
Powell, Price Stouffer, Frank Coffmau. Mr. & 
Mrs. R. C. Clark. 

The first bank was established August 1, 1S77, 
by Ma.lor Charles Newcomer and Dr. Isaac Rice. 
After Dr. Bice withdrew from the business, it 
was continued by Ma.1or Newcomer until January 
1, 1S99, when it was included with the business 
of the Citizen's Bank of Mount Morris, founded 
in 1S93 by Joseph L. Rice aud John H. Rice, 
now making but one banking firm in the village. 
The first carload of grain marketed from 
Mount Morris to Chicago after the construction 
of the Chicago and Iowa Railroad, was raised 
and sent by Major Newcomer, who erected the 
middle elevator in 1874. The north elevator was 
built in 1875 by Daniel Sprecher. This was af- 
terward purchased by H. H. Clevidence, who was 
engaged in the grain-buying business for nearly 
thirty years. Since his death a son. Arthur E. 
Clevidence, conducts the trade. The south eleva- 
tor was built iu 1882. and is now owned by the 
Neola Elevator Co. 

In 1878 John W. Hitt and Thomas Mumma 
(now of California) erected and established a 

creamery, for the manufacture of butter and 
cheese, which has had several owners : Michael 
E. Miller, William Jackson (now of California), 
Campbell & MacMaster, Robert C. McCredie 
(now of Sunnyside, Washington), at present be- 
longing to George C. Hopkins, of Oregon. During 
the occupancy of Mr. McCredie the frame butter- ^ 

making building was burned down, and the 
structure now standing was built by him. 

The Buser Concrete Company of Mount Morris • 
represents a new industry of the present time. 
Its head is N. E. Buser. an architect aud builder 
of Ogle County. The firm deals iu coal and lum- 
ber, in conuectiou with the building contracts, 
and with the making of the blocks and like 
forms out of the concrete substance. 

One of the important business concerns 
of Mount Morris is the printing and publishing 
firm of Kable Brothers Company, first organized 
in 1808 by Harvey J. and Harry G. Kable, twin 
brothers, who purchased the weekly "Mount Mor- 
ris Index," since developed into a large printing 
establishment. The company was first inc-oriwr- 
ated in liXH with a capital stock of $15,000, in- 
creased iu 1906 to $35,000. It now occupies its 
own building, a modern two-story structure, fur- 
nished with electric light, power and heating 
plant, and equipped with modern machinery. 
A score or more of periodicals are being issued, 
the larger number being fraternal, beneficiary and 
society publications, besides book, catalogue and 
commercial work. The total circulation of the 
dozen or more such publications printed by the 
company aggregates over 200,000 monthly. These 
contracts have all been secured from out-of-town 
points, including Chicago, Rockford, Oak Park. 
111.. Milwaukee, Stoughton, Wis., Williamsi»rt, 
Pittsburg, Pa., Detroit, Mich., etc. Sixty-five 
persons are employed by this company. 

In recent years in the rich soil about Mount 
Morris has been developed a thriving and in- 
creasing industry in fruit-growiug and market- 
gardening, especially in the raising of straw- 
berries, onions, sweet and Irish potatoes and 
ginseng. Among the growers of these products 
are A. W. Brayton, Charles V. Stonebraker, Wil- 
liam W. Peacock. John H. McNett, .John H. 
French. John Wakenight. Emanuel Holsiuger. 


A sketch of the early settlement of Nashua 
Township has been prepared by Mr. William J. 



Fruin, a i-psideiit of the township, who i-ime 
from England with his family, some years ago. 
It is said that some friends of Mr. Fruin and his 
family arrived at Honey Creek on the night 
train one of these later years, during the "break- 
ing up" of winter, and in the morning they 
looked out over a great expanse of slush and 
mud, and heard no cathedral bells. This was 
different from the old universitj- town, but they 
would scarcely be willing to exchange their 
present home in this fertile region even for one 
in "merrie old England." 

"The township was first permanently settled 
about 1836, by Dr. John Roe, who moved to 
I..ighthouse Point and lived there many years. 
He died in Nebraska. A son. Dr. M. C. Roe, of 
Ghana, and a grandson. Dr. J. B. Roe, of Ore.gon, 
are now practicing medicine in this immediate 
neighborhood. The exact order in which the 
settlers came from that time to 1838 is uncertain. 
It is said that Austin Williams, who had made 
claim to the site of the present village of Days- 
ville, selling his claim to Colonel Jehiel Day 
and some others, but not remaining, had come in 
1835 ; and likewise John Carr, who died on his 
homestead some years ago. Silas Hawthorn, 
father of Joseph T. Hawthorn and Mrs. John 
Rutledge, now of Oregon, came in ISoS. Ruel 
Peabody, who settled on Section 28, was one of 
the well-known first comers, and Major Chamber- 
lain, who settled on Section 13 ; Stephen Bemis, 
who settled on Section 25, and whose son, 
Stephen A. Bemis, now resides in St. Louis, Mo., 
and his son, Henry Bemis, in Oregon ; Levi Dort 
and Henry and Nancy Farwell and family. The 
Faru-ell farm is now owmed -by Col. F. O. Low- 
den ; the senior Farwells dying at the home of 
their daughter, Mrs. E. W. Edson, then of Ster- 
ling. John Carpenter settled where the village 
of Watertown afterwards sprang up, part of the 
farm being still owned by his son, Willis R. 
Carpenter. James H.itch, John Martin, Alanson. 
William and Noah L. Bishop, Joseph Williams, 
Riley Paddock. John Edmonds, Seth H. Hills, 
Daniel, Richard and John McKenney, with their 
families, and William J. Keyes were among the 
early settlers. 

"The man who tad first made claim to the 
land on which Daysville is situated, and built 
there a log house, had sold to Colonel Day (for 
whom the village was named), Jonathan Rawson, 
and James Moore, and they laid out the village 
in 1837. The wife of Jehiel Day was Cynthia 

llemeuway, sister of the first owner of Hemen- 
way Place. A descendant, their daughter Rosa, 
now Jlrs. John Bain, now resides in Rochelle. 
Soon after came John Taylor and family, Henry 
Stiles. William Jackson, Lyman Reed (father of 
Virgil E. Reed), and Daniel Day. Lyman Reed 
lived here till the time of his death, as did also 
the Colonel and Mrs. Day, James Moore whose 
wife was also a sister of Luke Hemenway, was 
residing at Dixon at the time of his decease. The 
only store now in Daysville is that of George M. 
Reed, which is a continuation of the store estab- 
lished by his father, Lyman Reed. The present 
Probate Judge of Ogle County, Frank E. Reed, of 
Oregon, is a son of this merchant, George M. 
Reed. Henry Stiles ran a pole ferry across 
Rock River near the village in 1837. Aaron 
Baldwin, William J. Mix, and others continued 
it. ending with that of Simon Wilson about 1860. 
since which time none has been operated. 

"As Daysville was one of the earliest of Ogle 
County villages, it was made one of the stations 
of the Methodist Circuit soon after it was laid 
out. Leander S. Walker was among the first to 
hold regular service and Barton H. Cartwright 
was the last to preach regularly. For many 
years the Rev. Erastus Woodsworth preached 
every fourth Sabbath. The present minister in 
the township is the Rev. Alfred Simester, ap- 
pointed by the Rock River Conference in 1907, 
living in the parsonage by the Methodist Church 
at Lighthouse, where religious services are held 
regularly. The prospects for Daysville were 
quite flattering, and an active trade was carried 
on by four stores ; but, w-hen the railroad came 
through, and passed it by, its pro.sperity was 
ended. In the northeast corner of the township 
Honey Creek station was established on the Chi- 
cago & Iowa Railroad, and a village plat was 
laid out by Major (baptismal name, not military 
title) Chamberlain in 1873. W. T. Wilson was 
the first postmaster at Honey Creek. He was 
followed by Alonzo Wood in 1877, who opened 
up a stock of groceries at this point." 

Other Hamlets. — Honey Creek has in 1908 
about thirtj'-four inhabitants. An elevator is 
located there under the operation of the Neola 
Elevator Company, and vegetable gardening is 
carried on by Theodore Cole. 

Watertown is now a place of several dwelling 
houses, some of them standing upon the abutting 
farms, and here is located the interesting and 
rare collection of boulders of Mr. V. E. Reed, 



who lives upon a part of the original John Car- 
penter farm, the wife of Mr. Reed being a daugh- 
ter of this pioneer. This village is located upon 
Kyte River, where once were carried on several 
milling industries. 

Lighthouse, or "Lighthouse Point", as the old 
settlers call it, carries an Interesting memory 
with it among the early residents still living who 
saw the beacon light in Dr. Roe's window, shining 
clear "across the night" for many miles away, 
this light guiding them from afar to the assist- 
ance they so needed for some sick member of the 
household. A few years prior to her death, Mrs. 
Roe, who was then living with her son in Ghana, 
published an interesting volume of Reminiscences 
of the early e.'tperiences, in this region, of herself 
and family. 

To Mr. V. E. Reed the writer is indebted for 
the following recollections of Daysville: "In 
the early 'forties Daysville was one of the prom- 
ising little villages of the State of Illinois, being 
situated on the banks of Rock River near the 
mouth of the Kyte, some three miles southeast 
of Oregon, the county seat. It retains a placf 
on the map. but prosperity for many years has 
ceased to smile upon it. Many of the streets are 
closed to the public, and most of the buildings 
have tumbled down, never to resume the business 
of the past, which was varied and had good pat- 
ronage. Two coniiDOdious hotels were managed by 
different landlords at different times: A. J. Gil- 
bert occupied the old Daniel Day house for 
several years, and was prosperous, while Richard 
Hardesty did equally well at the old James Moore 
House. These are both gone. The mail was con- 
veyed to the town thrice weekly by the (Frink 
& Walker Stage Line), running between Rock- 
ford and Dixon. 

"There was a flourishing trade carried on by 
the merchants of the place. William J. Mix 
was proprietor of a large assortment of dry 
goods, groceries, etc. ; also Joseph Williams 
(known as Squire) owned the Buckeye Store. 
David McHenry was one of the moneyed men, 
and dealt in all kinds of goods, sending out a 
peddler's wagon throughout the country for many 
years. Lyman Reed, for twenty years or more, 
carried an assortment of dry-goods, groceries, 
clothing, boots and shoes, hardware and medi- 
cines. C. H. Jackson, for a time, dealt in a 
variety of goods, John M. Hinkle conducted a 
general store. George Williams worked at his 
trade, that of shoe-making, his son John dealt in 

confectionery. Welcome McNames did general 
blaeksmithing and gun-repairing. Joseph Parker 
for many years did the tailoring and later Will- 
iam Cloud. William Cox and Harvey Hitchcock 
each worked at the wheelwright business for 
years. Thomas Frakes supplied the place with 
cooperage and ran a turning-lathe. Peter Fitch, 
who was blind, was an expert tanner and maker 
of hand-made whips, gloves, etc. Philip Young 
turned out pottery goods. William Jackson, Jus- 
tice of the Peace, Postmaster and general merch- 
ant, manipulated a set of carpenter's tools at 
times. Dr. Aden C. D. Pratt had a good practice, 
and later Dr. Addison Newton practiced medicine 
in the place. So promising was Daysville at one 
time that David McHenry erected a large ware- 
liou^e near the river, in anticipation of river 

"One store still exists as managed the past 
forty-odd years by George M. Reed. He also held 
the office of Town Clerk for over thirty-one years. 
The Rural Free Delivery has displaced the post- 

"The district school is still running, but its 
early house, erected sixty years ago by Lyman 
Reed, has long since been rebuilt by his son, 
George M. Reed. One of the early teachers, and 
who was much liked by her scholars, was Mrs. 
Dewitt Sears, of Oregon, whose husband was for 
a number of .vears teacher in the district schools 
of the county, and whose son and granddaughter 
are engaged in the same profession, in Ogle 
County in 1908. 

"A weaver's loom is now in operation and 
turns out a good quality of rag carpet. The 
latest industry of Daysville now in progress is 
that of 'clam catching'. A camp of fishermen is 
located at the river and hundreds of tons of the 
shells are piled there. A fish wagon makes 
weekly trips through the countiy selling fresh 

Among other settlers of the region were Lor- 
enzo Bissell. who came from Canada in 1840, and 
who still resides with his wife and a son and 
daughter upon his farm near Lighthouse; Moses 
Bissell, his brother, who came in 1847, and who 
died recently at his home in Oregon, where his 
wife and daughter Florence are now living; 
Thomas Stewart, a stanch Presbyterian, who 
with his brothers, John and William Stewart, 
came to this region from County Tyrone, Ireland. 
Mr. Thomas Stewart died in 1006 in Sacramento, 
Cal., where his widow, Margaret Snyder Stewart, 



is now living. David H. Wilson, who resides a 
part of tlie year upon liis laud near Liglitliouse, 
and a part of the year at Cleveland, Ohio, where 
lie at one time filled a position in couuectiou with 
the Internal Revenue Department, and is one of 
the stockholders of the Ogle County Bank, at 
Oregon, is the only remaining descendant of a 
family of early settlers in this region. For some 
time during the life of Mr. Hemenway, Mr. Wil- 
son was in charge of the Hemenway Place, which 
is situated in Nashua Township, and is now the 
heart of the Sinnissippi Farm. Daniel and Will- 
iam T. Williams are enterprising farmers living 
in the vicinity of Daysvllle, and are members of 
a family well-known among the early residents of 
the township, the head of the family, George 
Williams, having come to this region from 
County Cork, Ireland. Near here also, is the 
.summer home of the artist A. D. Reed. ( See pen 
and ink sketch of the DriscoU Boulder). 

In this neighborhood is the farm long owned 
by Thomas Morse, who now lives in Chicago. 
The property has been purchased by Louis Kiefer, 
stock-broker and exporter at the Union Stock 
Tards, Chicago, who uses this farm, and some 
others in other localities, for the raising and 
feeding of cattle. 

A Margaret Fuller Word Picture. — The fol- 
lowing attractive picture of a church in this 
region was written by Margaret Fuller in 1S43 : 
"Passing through one of the fine, park-like woods, 
almost clear from underbrush and carpeted with 
thick grass and flowers, we met (for it was 
Sunday) a little congregation just returning from 
their service, which had been performed in a rude 
house in its midst. It had a sweet and peaceful 
air, as if such words and thoughts were very 
dear to them. The parents had with them all 
their little childi'en ; but we saw no old people ; 
that charm was wanting which exists in such 
scenes in older settlements, of seeing the silver 
bent in reverence beside the flaxen head." 

In the Cemetery at Daysville is the Soldiers' 
Monument which was erected in 1900. (See illus- 
trations.) The erection of this monument is due 
to the patriotic efforts of the late Dr. H. A. 
Mix of Oregon, and Mr. Virgil E. Reed, they 
both having served in the War of the Rebellion. 
This memorial is of Bedford granite, being form- 
ed of a series of tapering blocks, surmounted by 
the figure of a soldier with his gun at rest. Upon 
the faces of the basic blocks are inscribed the 

names of 379 soldiers. These names include all 
the soldiers of Nashua and Oregon Townships 
who had served in any of the wars of our coun- 
try, and of those who had come from other 
localities and were living in the two townships 
at the time of the placing of the monument. All 
soldiers buried in the Daysville Cemetery are 
now interred in the memorial lot. The cost of 
the monument, alxiut $1,UU0, was paid by contri- 
butions from the old soldiers aud their friends. 

Township Ofeiceks. — The following have been 
Supervisors of Nashua Township: Joseph Will- 
iams, lSoO-51 ; Riley Paddock, 1852 ; Enoch Wood, 
1853; William J. Mix, 1854; Jehiel Day, 1855; 
Enoch Wood 1856-57; Philo B. Wood, 1858-59; 
Major Chamberlain, 180U; Riley Paddock, 1861- 
62 ; John M. Hinkle, 1863 ; John Carpenter, 1864- 
73 ; Lorenzo Bissell, 1874-75 ; James Bailey, 1876- 
81; Frank W. March, 1882; Webster C. Smith, 
1883; Frank W. March, 1884; James Malarkey, 
1885-88 ; William G. Stevens, 1889-90 ; Frank W. 
March, 1891-94; Clinton Bemis, 1895-96; Fred- 
erick Bissell, 1897-98 ; Clinton Bemis, 1899-1902 ; 
Willis F. Carpenter, 1003-04; Clinton Bemis, 
1905; William J. Fruin, 1906-OS. The other 
officers of the township for 1908 are : Town Clerk, 
Edward Smith ; Assessor, Leon A. Reed ; Tax 
Collector, George J. Fruin ; Justices of the Peace, 
Leon A. Reed, Henry E. Arnold; Highway Com- 
missioners, I'rank Althouse, George Carson, 
George J. Fruin ; School Treasurer, Charles E. 


Pioneer names of Oregon Township as contra- 
distinguished Irom the names of settlers of the 
village, first of Florence and later of Oregon, 
the places of their nativity aud the years of their 
arrival, are as follows : George W. Hill, Vermont, 
1837 ; Joseph Henshaw, and Hugh Ray, Ireland, 
1837; Michael Seyster, Sr., Maryland, 1838; 
James Rae, Ireland, 1838; Daniel Etnyre, Mary- 
laud, 1839; Joseph F. Hawthorne, New York, 
1840; Lemuel Wood, New Xork, 1844; Rev. 
Erastus Wadsworth, New York, 1845; Solomon 
J. Eschbach and Rebecca Hinkle, Pennsylvania, 
18.50 ; Frank A. Sauer and Michael Sauer, Baden, 
Germany, 1S51; Eva Sauer, Luxemboui-g, Germ- 
any, 1857; Edward D. Murray, Ireland, 1858. 
Names of the settlers of Oregon and a narrative 
of the early years of the new county seat will be 


found in chapter XXII, in a paper prepared by 
Col. B. F. Slieets. 

The first newspaper of Ogle County, the "Rock 
River Register", published at Mount Morris, in 
its issue of October 28, lSi2, ten months after the 
first number was printed, contained an article 
relating to Oregon, in which the new town's 
business statistics are given as follows: "One 
clock and watehmalver, one saddler and harness- 
maker, three cabinet makers, two painters and 
glaziers, one turner, one wheelwright, two masons 
and plasterers, two shoemakers, one blacksmith, 
one chair maker, three tailors, two barbers, two 
stores, one grocery, two taverns, and six attor- 
ney s-at-law." 

Reminiscences of Rock River Valley.— In 
18-51, the "Mount Morris Gazette," the successor 
of the "Register", which withstood the vicissi- 
tudes of pioneer journalism only two or three 
years, published a series of articles entitled, 
"Reminiscences of Rock River Valley", supposed 
to be from the pen of Samuel Fellows, then a 
professor in Rock River Seminary, wherein is 
found the following: 

"Hon. Thomas Ford, late Governor of this 
State, settled in Oregon in 1S36. . . . W. W. Ful- 
ler, Esq., S. N. Sample and J. V. Gale were also 
among the most infiuential men in the early his- 
tory of Oregon. The whole country around 
Oregon, I might add the whole Rock River Val- 
ley, was settled by a very intelligent and enter- 
prising class of inhabitants. Most of them were 
from the middle class of society, both in regard 
to intelligence and wealth. They had been ac- 
customed in their native States to habits of in- 
dustry, and they did not leave those habits 
behind them. They endured the hardships in- 
cident to a new country with patience, and 
entered upon the labor of opening farms and 
gathering around them the comforts of life with 
a zeal and determination which could not fail 
of succei^s. Nor, while they were thus engaged 
in securing their own interest, did they neglect 
the public weal. As soon as a sutReient number 
of families settled in a town or neighborhood, a 
schooolhouse was built and a school oijened." 

Ferries and Bridges. — Rock River at Oregon 
was first crossed by ferry. Soon after John 
Phelps made his second claim where Oregon is 
now situated, he built and operated a ferry. He 
was instrumental in having a new State road 
from Chicago to Galena cross Rock River at this 

ixjint over his ferry, which he continued to own 
for many years. Jlr. Phelps was a Southerner 
with the South's sectional prejudices of that day. 
Gov. Ford, in his "History of Illinois," while 
recognizing the mutual prejudice then existing 
between natives of the North and South, in dis- 
cussing the social conditions of that day, takes 
note of the Southerner's hospitality, which was 
illustrated in the case of John Phelps, as shown 
Ijy the recollections of Mr. John Hitt, present 
deputy collector of customs in Chicago, but form- 
erly of Mount Morris, in an address prepared for 
delivery before a meeting of old settlers in 1907, 
and later printed in the "Mount Morris Index." 
Mr. Ilitt says: 

"My father and mother moved to this beauti- 
ful c-ountry in the "thirties, with their family of 
three little boys. We were ferried across Rock 
River at Oregon, and spent our first night in 
Ogle County at the house of Mr. and Mrs. John 
Phelps. Do any of you remember your first ar- 
rival here on the prairies? Do you recall the 
hearty welcome given you by the neighbors who 
had lately moved to the Rock River Country? 
Well, that was the welcome we received from Mr. 
John Phelps and his family, which then included 
his daughter. Miss Sarah Phelps, afterwards 
Mrs. Johnson. Their kind tone of voice and their 
words of solicitude to make us comfortable 
after a long and weary trip overland, ring in my 
ears to-day. In memory's glass I see their 
friendly faces as they bade us welcome to our 
new home in Ogle County. Long years since, 
after lives of honorable usefulness, they passed 
away here in Ogle County, but I can not fail 
to jiay a tribute of appreciative words to the first 
Ogle County family I met in Oregon." 

The ferry was a matter of legislative franchise, 
and tlie rates were fixed by law: For a footman, 
12 Vo cents; for man and horse, 2.5 cents; for 
two horses, or yoke of oxen, and wagon. 7.5 cents; 
for two-horse pleasure carriage, $1. The ferry 
continued to be used until 1852, when the first 
bridge was built. This was a toll bridge, provid- 
ed by private capital. The Board of Supervisors 
undertook to make a donation of $1,000. but was 
enjoined by the Circuit Court from paying over 
tlio money. Wooden piles formed the foundation 
and the life of the bridge was short, being carried 
a«-ay l.y ice in 1S57. 

In 18.58 the County Board appropriated $8,000 
for a free bridge, the remainder of the total cost 
of $2.5.000 to be raised by the Town of Oregon. 


8 O.J 

Of tbis remaiuder ($17,000), $10,000 was sub- 
scribed by people of tbe county, the residue being 
raised by assessment on the town. The contract 
was let for $24,915, but contractor Pierce dying 
soon after taliing tbe contract, his surety. H. A. 
Mix, undertoolv and completed the worli. The 
bridge was accepted by the Supervisors in 1830. 

Bridge No. 2. after being in use eight years, 
fell on June o, 1S6T — or two spans did — after 
having undergone '•thorough"' repairing, and being 
"considered entirely safe" a month before. A 
ferry was then re-established. The Board of 
Supervisors voted an appropriation tbis time of 
$15,000, provided, that the Town of Oregon "pay 
the sum of $5,000 for said purpose." The eon- 
tract went to Canada and Hincliley for $20,000 
and tlie old bridge. The bridge was turned over 
to the authorities on November 4, 1867. 

By 1S79, Bridge No. M was showing the need 
of substantial and extensive repairs. These came 
in 1SS2, when the roof was removed, new braces 
placed underneath, and the entire structure given 
a general over-hauling, and tbe "Hinckley 
Bridge", as it was called, lasted fifteen years 
until 1897. By that time is was, and in 
tbe spring of that year, work was begim on the 
present iron-bridge by the Lafayette Bridge 
Company of Lafayette, Ind. It was ordered by 
the Board of Supervisors that the cost should 
not exceed .$20,000. of which $12,000 .should be 
paid b.y the couutv. .-tnd the remaining $8.»XI0 by 
the Town of Oregon. The contract was awarded 
for $19,500 and completed that year. During 
the interim traflic was kept moving by means 
of a pontoon bridge, planned and erected by Col. 
B. F. Sheets, after the manner of those used in 
the Civil War. 

Religious Societies. — The denomination 
to organize for religious activity in Oregon was 
the Metliodist, when in 18.39 Rev. G. G. Worth- 
ington established a class of eleven persons, two 
of whom were men. Oregon was then on the 
Buffalo Grove Circuit, established four years 
earlier, extending from Rochelle to the Missis- 
sippi River and from Prophetstown an equal dis- 
tance north. James McKean was the first pastor 
to travel this district ; but the best known circuit- 
rider in Oregon was the Rev. Barton Cartwright, 
who later made his home at Mount Morris, and. 
after that again in Oregon, where he died. 

Becoming the head of an Oregon Circuit in 
1852, and in lSti9 a station, requiring a pastor's 

whole lime, the Oregon charge had increased 
sufficiently in membership to accomplish the 
building of a first church (1857) and a parson- 
age (1809), at a respectively of $.3,000 and 
$2,800. In 1873 the present brick edifice was 
erected at a cost of $15,000, the interior of which 
has recently been remodeled, refurnished and 
redecorated. Among the appointments made by 
the Rock River Conference for the Oregon pulpit 
was that, in 1884. of Rev. F. H. Sheets, who 
had grown up in Oregon and in the Methodist 
Church, the son of Col. B. F. Sheets. 

Keeping pace with the progress of the church 
is a flourishing Sunday School, which for many 
years was under the able superintendence of 
Col. B. F. Sheets. The church has a present mem- 
bership of 251). The present pastor is Rev. J. W. 
Fun.ston ; members of the Board of Trustees are 
B. F. Sheets, F. G. Jones. Z. A. Landers, George 
Hiestand, J. E. Powell. S. H. Burns, Albert Bis- 
sell, John Purves, 

The Lutheran denomination was the first in 
Oregon to erect a church building, which stood 
for many years at the north edge of the Court 
House grounds and was the church home for a 
long time, not only for the Lutherans, but of the 
Methodists and Presbyterians as well. The cor- 
ner-stone was laid in 1850, two years after the 
organization of the society, during which interim 
meetings were held at the "Phelps School House." 
The organization was effected by the Rev. N. J. 
Stroh. the first Lutheran pastor in the county, 
the pioneer of his church, who was on the ground 
as early as 1846. Father Stroh continued a 
resident of the county for the remainder of his 
life. living until 1897, which brought him within 
one year of being a centenarian, meaning in his 
case ninety years in the faith. In 1892, the first 
church, which had been remodeled, enlarged 
and much improved in 1875, was torn down, the 
lot sold and the present edifice built at the cor- 
ner of Fifth and Jefferson Streets. The latter 
is of Romanesque architecture, built of red 
pressed brick with Bedford stone trimmings, and 
is valued at $10,000. A parsonage has been built 
on the lot ad.1oining on the north. 

A quaint deed of gift pertaining to the bell 
that used to ring out from the aipola of the old 
Lutheran church of 1850 on public occasions 
and' for municipal purposes, as well as for re- 
ligious uses, has been preserved among the 
records of the Ladies' Philanthropic Sewing So- 
ciety of Oregon, and is now in the possession 


of Mrs. Alice E. Ligbt of Oregon. The follow- 
ing is a copy : 

"The Ladies' Philanthropic Society of Oregon, 
wishing to secure as far as in their power the 
greatest good to the public, hereby agree to make 
the following disposition of the Bell which they 
purchased and fulfill the expectation of the com- 
munity as promised : The Society donate the 
bell in trust to the Lutheran Church of Oregon, 
to be put up in the belfry of their house of wor- 
ship, to remain there for use so long as the 
building shall be used as a house of worship, re- 
serving the right to the citizens of Oregon to use 
the bell in said church on all public and suitable 
occasions as a Town Bell. This agreement may 
be terminated by consent of the Trustees of said 
Church and the citizens of the Town at any 
time, but not by one party so long as these terms 
are complied with ; and if, at any time, there 
shall be a failure on the part of said Lutheran 
Church, or its Trustees, the Bell with its fixtures 
shall be at the disposal of the citizens of Ore- 
gon ; this instrument to take effect as soon as 
approved by the Society and accepted by the 
Trustees of said Church. 

"Signed by us, a Committee hereunto duly 
empowered by said Society. 

Mary H. Ckowell. 
Malviha S. Potwin. 
"Accepted this Twenty-sixth Day of August, in 
the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hun- 
dred and Fifty-one (1851). 

George Lilly, Sen., 
Daniel Etnyre, 
Ernst J. Reiman, 
"Trustees of the Lutheran Church." 
When the old church, after standing for near- 
ly fifty years, was superseded by the present 
church on a different site, the bell was trans- 
ferred to the belfry of the latter, where, in its 
new surroundings and to another generation of 
worshippers, it still proclaims religion's "Sweet 
hour of prayer." 

Two of the earliest active settlers of Oregon, 
John M. Schneider and Michael Nohe, being of 
the Catholic faith, soon exerted themselves to 
have a service of their church conducted in Ore- 
gon, and by subscription raised $1,600, with 
which the stone church at the corner of Third 
and Monroe Streets was built in 1862. That 
continued to be their house of worship until 
1800, when the present large and beautiful St. 
Mary's church was erected on the corner of 

Fourth and Monroe Streets at a cost of $17,000. 
The architect was F. Herr of Dubuque, and the 
contractor and builder was N. E. Buser of 
Mount MoiTis. During the fall of 1908 the in- 
terior has been frescoed, all the work being 

For some years mass was said and the other 
services of the church were conducted at irreg- 
ular intervals by visiting priests, the first to 
officiate by appointment being Rev. Lightner, 
who came from Dixon each alternate Sunday. 
The first to be stationed at Oregon, though hold- 
ing service also at Polo and Byron, was Rev. 
Otto Greenbaum. The present priest is Rev. 
Andrew J. Burns. The membership numbers 

A recent bull of the Pope, dated at Rome, Sep- 
tember 23, 1908, provided for erecting the dio- 
cese of Rockfovd. and later, Pius X, named 
Bishop P. J. Muldoon, of Chicago, as the first 
Bishop of the new diocese. His authority ex- 
tends over twelve counties, the Oregon church 
being included in the new See. 

The organization of the Presbyterian Society 
of Oregon was accomplished in 187.3, with tsven- 
t.y-three members. Prior to that time, as already 
stated, of that faith made a part of the 
Lutheran congregation. The first elders were 
E. L. Wells, Anson Barnum, and Harvey Jew- 
ett ; the first pastor was Rev. Robert Proctor. 
In 1874 a church edifice was erected and dedi- 
cated at the corner of Fifth and Jefferson 
Streets, which for thirty-five years has served 
its purpose. To its first cost of $14,000, $1,200 
was added several years ago for interior changes. 
Rev. Arthur S. Hoyt, who was pastor from 1878 
to 1887, but is now of the Theological Seminary 
at Auburn, N. Y., returned in May, 1908, to preach 
the funeral sermon of a member of his former 
congregation, and one of the original twenty- 
three who constituted the first membership in 
Oregon — Miss Agnes J. McMollan. Among sev- 
eral other bequests for religious uses Miss 
McMollan gave $500 to the Oregon church. The 
work of the church is continually and exten- 
sively furthered by the Ladies' Aid Society. 

The membership at this time numbers 110. 
The members of the Board of Trustees are : P. E. 
Hastings, C. D. Etnyre, F. R. Artz, J. H. Cart- 
wright, and H. G. Kauffman. The pastor is the 
Rev. John Henry Rheingans. 

Education. — A desire to be abreast of the 
times in education has always prevailed in Ore- 



gon, the school sentiment being common to most 
of the towns of Northern Illinois. The several 
grounds and buildings of the public school have 
been the outcome of hearty interest and liberal 
expenditure. The teacher has been highly re- 
spected and esteemed. The character of a people. 
their worth as a community, is, perhaps, never 
better illustrated than in their attitude towards 
the school and teacher. (The pioneer schools of 
Oregon are referred to quite fully in Chapter 
XXV of this history.) 

In 1873 the Oregon school was for the first 
time systematically graded. The division was 
made into ten grades, after the system of that 
time, by Superintendent Emanuel Brown. Two 
years later Mr. Brown, whose place as Superin- 
tendent had been filled during the intervening 
year by John R. Leslie, added a two-years' high 
school course. The first class was graduated in 
1877, numbering two members, who were Mary 
J. Mi.x (Mrs. Henry D. Barber) and Helen A. 
Mix (Mrs. George Hormell). In 1876 S. B. 
Wadsworth became Superintendent, continuing 
until 1886. He added a year to the high school 
course, and changed the grading by adopting the 
plan of eight grades instead of ten, which re- 
mains to-day the plan in common use the 
country over. Succeeding Superintendents were: 
William Bellis, .1. R. Gibson, and Lincoln E. 
Harris during the years from 1886 to 189.5. In 
1894 the present commodious building was erect- 
ed upon the gently sloping elevation covering 
an entire block and occupying a particularly 
handsome site, the cost being $20,000. It was 
occupied In January, 1895, W. J. Sutherland 
being then Superintendent and continuing until 
1901. Under his administration the high school 
course was extended to four years, which had 
come to be the rule in most schools, and which 
so remains to-day. The eight grades were re- 
duced to seven. This proved to be an injury to 
efficient grade instruction, and, in 1901. under 
the administration of B. S. Hady, Ph. D.. who 
became Superintendent in 1901, the former sys- 
tem of eight gi-ades was restored. From 1905 to 
1907 the Superintendent was George C. Griswold, 
A. B. By this time a special teacher of drawing 
had been employed, who with the special teach- 
er of music, the four teachers in the high school 
and those of the grades, made a corps of four- 
teen teachers in all, which is the present num- 
ber. The Superintendent during the past and 
the present year is F. G. Taylor. Up to the 

present time approximately 230 graduates have 
taken the courses of study and received the 
school diploma. 

During the past year the Lowden oratorical 
contest has been established for the senior class 
of the High School. Under its conditions the 
sum of .?25. the gift of Ck)l. F. O. Lowden, is 
expended for two gold medals, one to be given to 
the boy who writes and delivers the best oration 
in a competitive test with the other boys of the 
senior class, and the other to the girl who writes 
and delivers the best essay among the girls in 
the senior class. ITie first contest was held at 
the Methodist church on the evening of May 8, 
1908, and the medals were awarded to Edna 
Becker, who chose for her subject "Chivalry." 
and Harlan G. Kauffman, whose subject was 
"The Spanish Armada." The event created much 

The Wells Traini>'g School. — Tlie Wells 
School was established April 14, 1879, by Mr. 
E. L. Wells, who had been Superintendent of 
the Ogle County Schools for twelve years. He 
found many earnest and faithful young teachers 
who wished to improve in their work, but could 
not go away to a normal school. For several 
years Mr. Wells had planned a school which 
students might attend for any length of time 
and take such studies as they chose. After 
visiting schools in Europe, he established this 
school. For a considerable time it was known 
as the Teachers' Training School, abbreviated 
by the students to "T. T. S." The opportunity 
for taking chosen studies brought students who 
desired county. State, and Chicago certificates, 
some of them being Principals of High Schools, 
Superintendents of City Schools, and County 
Superintendents, at one time including eight 
graduates of the Illinois State Normal Univer- 

State Superintendent Richard Edwards, in a 
biennial report, gave the names of thirtj'-five 
persons to whom he had granted Life State 
Certificates, seventeen of whom were students 
of this school. This advanced work resulted in 
nearly 100 students obtaining state certificates, 
and as many more obtaining Chicago certificates 
and teaching in that city. The total number of 
.Mr. Wells' students has been 1,412, represent- 
ing sixty-one counties in Illinois and twenty-two 
different States, the largest total attendance in 
any one year being 168. 


Mr. Wells, feeling that a younger man must 
take his plac-e, iu 1895 selected Horace W. Sulli- 
van for Associate Principal. Mr. Sullivan liad 
been a student in the school and had proved 
himself thorough in his worli. He was granted 
a five-year State certificate in August, 1895, 
and, in 1897, as a result of more extended work, 
a State certificate of life-grade was awarded 
him and, in ]90J. he became sole owner and man- 
ager of the school. The school affords oppor- 
tunity tor regular courses of instruction in thir- 
ty branches of study, the topics assigned em- 
bracing collectively the entire work of any given 
branch of study. 

Public Library. — In March, 1872, the Gen- 
eral Assembly enacted a law authorizing cities, 
villages and townships to establish and main- 
tain public libraries by the levy of a tax, not to 
exceed one mill (since extended to two mills) 
per $100 uix)n all assessable property. In De- 
cember of the same year the City Council of 
Oregon passed an ordinance carrying out the 
provisions of the law by providing a library and 
reading room for the general public. The fol- 
lowing constituted the first Board of Directors : 
.\lbert Woodcock. E. L. Wells, G. C. T. Phelps, 
G. W. Hormell, J. E. Hitt, John Matmiller, John 
Rutledge and William W. Bennett, and at their 
first meeting Albert Woodcock was elected Presi- 
dent and E. L. Wells, Secretary. At the next 
meeting. January 16, 1873, Albert Woodcock 
and W. W. Bennett were appointed a committee 
for the selection of books. The first place for 
keeping the books was the drug-store of R. C. 
Burehell. but in December, 1874, a permanent 
location was found, two rooms being leased of 
J. B. Mix on the second fioor of his building 
on Washington Street (now the First National 
Bank Building) at a rental of $30 per annum, 
and these have continued to be the home of the 
library to the present time. 

For a number of years the members of the 
Library Board took turns in acting as Librarian, 
during the two or three evenings of each week 
when the library was open. In 1903 Mrs. 
Addie Welty, the first salaried Librarian, was 
appointed, after a service of two years being 
succeeded by Jliss Ethel Herbert, and the same 
two years ago, by the present Librarian. Miss 
Emily Cartwright. 

In 1904. through an inquiry and request made 
by the writers hereof, it was learned that Mr. 

.\ndrew Carnegie would donate $10,000 for a 
public library building in Oregon. In order to 
meet his cxjudition of a maintenance fund of 
ten per cent, the people voted to change from a 
city to a township library. They were also in- 
vited by the Library Board to vote upon the 
selection of a site, the location chosen being 
at the corner of Third and Jefferson Streets, 
The following citizens constituted the Library 
Board at this time: W. H. Guilford, Presi- 
dent ; C. D. Etnyre, Secretary ; J. C. Seyster, 
Michael Farrell, F. E. Reed and Horace G. 
Kauffman. In the spring of 1907 W. H. Guil- 
ford and J. C. Seyster refused to stand for re- 
election, and on account of the vacancies thus 
created. Franc Bacon and D. A. Bellis were 

Plans for the library building were drawn by 
.Messrs. Pond and Pond, architects of Chicago 
and members of the summer colony of artists at 
Eagle's Nest Bluff, and the contract was let in 
the summer of 1907, to M. D. Smith, of Dixon, 
111. The building is now finished, and about to 
lie occupied. It is of white brick, of Elizabethan- 
Gothic architecture and severely plain. The 
interior is commodious and pleasing. At the 
suggestion of the artists' colony an art room 
was provided by making a portion of the build- 
ing two stories in height, and to meet the addi- 
tional expense of $2,000, Col. and Mrs. F. O. 
Lowden contributed $1,000 and Mr. Wallace 
Heckman, $100. Mrs. Malvina F. Potwin. a 
long time resident of Oregon, her family being 
among the eai-liest settlers, included among the 
bequests of her last will and testament, pro- 
bated in 1905, a gift to the library of $500. The 
books number upwards of 2,500 volumes, not 
including encyclopedias and other works of 
reference, numbering about 100 volumes. In its 
new home the library will be much more con- 
veniently housed, and, with the two fine new- 
reading rooms, its efliciency and usefulness will 
be greatly increased. 

The first use of the new art room, which was 
also the first use made of the library building, 
was an exhibit of paintings in October, 1908, 
by Leon A. Makielski,, of the Artists" Camp at 
Eagle's Nest. The paintings numbered over 100 
and were Mr. Makielski's work done at Eagle's 
Nest, all the different canvases representing 
scenes along and near Rock River at Oregon. 
The exhibit continued each afternoon for a week, 
with a reception on Saturday afternoon to Mr. 


Makielski under the clireclion of the Oregon 
Woman's Council, bj' whom a painting was pur- 
chased for placing in one of the reading rooms 
of the library. Other purchases were also 

Newspapers. — Two weekly newspapers are 
published in Oregon — the "Ogle County Re- 
iwrter" and the "Ogle Couuty Republican." Tlie 
iormer, the older of the two, has been published 
under its present caption since the fall of 1851, 
prior to which, for a few months, it was known 
as the "Ogle County Gazette," founded by R. C. 
Burchell, who continued as publisher until 1853, 
when he sold to Mortimer W. Smith. Between 
that date and 1872, it changed proprietors sev- 
eral times, the different owners being Edward 
H. Leggitt (1857), John Sharp (1861), M. W. 
Smith (1808), Charles L. Miller and E. L. Otis 
(1871), Charles L. Miller and J. P. Miller 
(1871), W. H. Gardner (1871), W. H. Gardner 
and Timoleon O. Johnston (1872), T. O. John- 
ston (1872). Mr. Johnston remained publisher 
and editor until his death in 1899. Meantime 
he built for an office and print-shop the brick 
building on the east side of Third Street about 
120 feet south of the Schiller Piano Factory. 
Later in the same year the paper was sold by 
the administratrix of Mr. Johnston's estate to 
F. G. Sehatzle, who came to Oregon from Free- 
port, and a partner whose interest Mr. Sehatzle 
bought out soon afterward, the latter continuing 
to conduct the enterprise until 1906, when he 
disposed of the property to the present owner 
and editor, Frank R. Robinson, formerly of 

The "Reporter" was at first neutral in politics, 
but in 1850 it espoused the cause of the newly 
organized Republican party by giving its sup- 
port in the Presidential election of that year 
to Fremont and Dayton, and since then has 
always been a stalwart Republican sheet. For 
more than half a century it has chronicled the 
local life of Oregon and vicinity and has re- 
ported the important county and state news to 
the satisfaction of a large list of subscribers. 

The present proprietor of the "Reporter" is 
improving its columns in the matter of news 
presented in a clear, c-ourteous and attractive 
manner, and, particularly, is conducting an edi- 
torial page which shows much more than com- 
mon ability on his part as a ready and pleasing 
writer. Mr. Robinson is the author of a num- 

ber of short stories, dealing chiefly with rail- 
road life, which have been published by the 
leading magazines, especially "The Cosmopoli- 
tain" and "McClure's." 

The newspaper out of which has grown the 
"Ogle County Republican," began under the own- 
ership and direction of B. B. Bemis, by whom it 
was christened the "Ogle County Local," and 
was printed in a small building where the 
Knodle Brothers laundry now is, its first issue 
being on May 4, 1888. In 1890, then having a 
circulation of 1,000 copies, it was sold to J. D. 
Seibert and S. G. Mason, who continued as its 
publishers for four years, when they disposed 
of it to a stock company, whose shareholders 
were F. G. Jones, Rev. Caldwell, and E. L. Reed, 
the last named acting as manager. The name 
was changed to the "Local Advocate." Shortly 
afterward a fire occurred at its place of publi- 
cation; which then was the rooms over the store 
of F. G. Jones, and a little later sale was made 
to E. L. Reed, and the name was changed to 
"Ogle County Republican," which has continued 
to the present time. In 1895 Mr. Reed asso- 
ciated with him Z. A. Landers of Creston, who 
had formerly been engaged in the newspaper 
business. They continued as partners until 
1898, . wlien Mr. Reed, upon leaving Oregon, 
leased his interest to Frank E. Sorrells, and in 
September, 1900, sold out to his junior partner, 
since which time Mr. Landers has remained 
editor and publisher, but in 1900 took his son, 
Ernest D. Landers, into the business with him, 
the firm becoming Landers and Son. The paper 
was printed for several years in the building 
now occupied by the "Ogle County Reporter," 
but in 1900 the plant was removed to its present 
quarters in the Kauffman-Bemis Building, where 
room had been designed and provided for it 
when the building was erected. In politics, the 
"Republican" advocates the principles of the 
party indicated by its name, and has from the 
time it came under the management of B. L. 
Reed. It has been said of the present editor 
that he "has energy, ability and a brilliant 
method of expression," and under his manage- 
ment the circulation of the paper has greatly 
increased, and it has won a position near the 
front rank of the weekly papers of the State. 

A third paper, the "Independent-Democrat" 
was conducted for some years by A. H. "Wag- 
goner, who. in 1896, sold out to Reed & Landers, 
who disposed of the presses, etc., to purchasers 



in various parts of the county and it went out of 
existence. Before tlie paper's ownership by Wag- 
goner, it had been published under varying 
titles by William E. Ray, Henry P. Lason, 
Charles R. Hawes, G. L. Bennett, J. J. Buser, 
E. T. Ritchie and Samuel Wilson, originating 
under the direction of the last named editor, in 
18G(!. under the name of the "Oregon National 
Guard," as an organ of the local democracy. 

Banking Institutions. — The First National 
Bank of Oregon was organized in 1872, being 
formed from the private bank of Lott and Baird, 
which began as BaLrd & Miller, in 1870. The 
first President was Daniel Etnyre, and James 
D. Lott was the first Cashier. The capital is 
$50,000 with a surplus at this time of $.30,000. 
The Bank owns its well appointed office build- 
ing. It has within the iiast year opened a sav- 
ings account department, as well as added to its 
equipment a special vault of safety deposit 
boxes. Its resources, as shown by its last state- 
ment, February 11, 1009, were $376,895.0-1. The 
directors at this time are J. L. Rice, Charles 
Schneider, W. H. Guilford, George H. Mix, and 
Charles D. Etnyre, the two first named being 
President and Cashier, respectively, with John 
D. Mead, Assistant Cashier, who succeeded 
Stephen H. Pankhurst, the latter having been 
identified with tlie bank for many years. 

The Ogle County Bank was established in 
1884 upon a re-organization of the Exchange 
Bank of Oregon, which was founded in 1878 by 
John B. Seibert and William Artz, the latter 
retiring in 1884. and P. E. Hastings, Simon and 
Joseph Sheaff coming in as new partners. John 
B. Seibert was the first President and P. E. 
Hastings the first Cashier. It began business 
with a capital of $30,000, and soon after erected 
the fine brick building where its business has 
since been carried on. In 1884, John B. Seibert 
retired and John Sheaff entered as Assistant 
Cashier. In 1907 the Bank was incorporated as 
a state bank with a capital of $50,000. It opened 
a savings account department and provided a 
special vault of safety deposit boxes. Its re- 
sources according to its last statement, February 
11, 1909, were $.308,990.46. Its directors are 
P. E. Hastings. John Sheaff, H. C. Peek, P. C. 
Malarkey, and Glyndon Haas, the first two and 
last named being President, dashier, and As- 
sistant Cashier, respectively. 

In 1906 Oregon's third bank, the Oregon State 

Savings Bank, was organized. The first Board 
of Directors was made up of J. C. Seyster, 
George M. McKenney, W. W. Crowell, Jacob 
Zeigler, and C. M. Gale, who chose the first and 
last named President and Cashier, respectively. 
Miss Martha Gale is Assistant Cashier. The 
stockholders have provided a permanent home 
for the bank by the erection of a handsome new 
brick building, with front of Bedford stone, on 
Washington Street, which was completed and 
first occupied in March, 1908. The bank has a 
savings account department, and part of the 
double vault is devoted to safety deposit boxes. 
Each of the three Oregon banks is paying 
three per cent interest on savings accounts, three 
per cent on certificates of deposit if left six 
months, and four per cent if left one year. 

Manufactures. — The Schiller Piano Company 
is Ogle County's largest industrial enterprise 
It was started in a small way in 1893, with local 
capital, most of which was furnished by F. G. 
Jones, who was elected President. Mr. Jones 
took no active part in the management of the 
Company until 1895, when placing his large gen- 
eral mercantile business in the hands of old and 
trusted employes, he left the store he had suc- 
cessfully guided for twenty-eight years and 
became general manager, as well as President 
of the Schiller Factory. The business had just 
fairly got started under the new management 
when the disastrous panic of 1896 began. For 
six months of that year it required skillful 
financial steering to keep the Company from 
going into the hands of receivers, but in the fall 
of that year, after McKinley's election, there was 
a demand for the Company's bills receivable and 
also its product ; and from that time to the pres- 
ent, the Company has gone on building additions 
to its plant and increasing the list of its cus- 
tomers, until they now extend to all parts of 
the United States, Canada, Hawaii and Italy. 
As the business of the Company has increased. 
Mr. Jones has placed the management of differ- 
ent departments of the enterprise in the hands 
of his three sons, each of whom has had careful 
training in the factory for the department it has 
devolved upon him to handle. 

During the fifteen years of the Company's his- 
tory a pay-day has never been missed, neither 
has there been a strike or a shut down, but all 
has gone on smoothly and of late years steady 
employment has been given to upwards of 300 


"^ (tiiU-Ci Illinois — 

y/.-rz /? ^ 



men. About 40,000 pianos have been made 
and sold and are giving satisfaction to their 
owners. This number of pianos going Into so 
many different parts of the world has done 
much to advertise Oregon and Ogle County. 
The Company has built up its large business, not 
by extensive advertising, or by a large force of 
traveling salesmen (of the latter it employs but 
one), but by making its product reliable and 
dealing honestly with its patrons. The factory 
occupies six full lots adjoining the water power, 
and has a floor space of 122,506 square feet, all 
of which is utilized in malting pianos and piano 
players. The present officers of the company 
are : F. G. Jones, President ; George H. Jones, 
Secretary ; Edgar B. Jones, Treasurer ; Benj. 
F. Shelley, Assistant Treasurer ; Cyrus F. Jones, 
Superintendent of Player Department. 

The Purves Piano Company is the manufac- 
turer of the Purves Piano and the Purves Player 
Piano. This is a new enterprise recently estab- 
lished by John Purves, who has had extensive 
experience in the piano business, acquired by 
actual service from his earliest youth. Asso- 
ciated with him are his brother, James Purves 
and Arthur Locke, in charge of the mechanical 
and finishing departments respectively. The in- 
terior player made by this Company, like most 
of the recent musical inventions of the kind, is 
adapted for the use of those who love piano 
music, but are unable to play the piano, and who 
by simply working the pedals can have the 
highest class of music at will. The Purves 
piano is a high grade instrument that is finding 
a market and promises to make a name for itself 
in the musical world. The capacity of the fac- 
tory is 1.000 pianos annually. 

Another manufacturing concern in Oregon 
which makes piano players is the National Piano 
Player Company, organized scarcely more than 
eighteen months ago. The player of this Com- 
pany is placed within the piano along with a 
small electric motor, by means of which power 
is supplied by attaching to the socket of an 
electric lamp for the operation of the player. 
At the present time tT\-enty-five skilled workmen 
are employed. The otBeers are F. W. Farwell, 
President and Treasurer; C. E. Merrill. Vice- 
President ; and W. E. Cleveland, Secretary. 

The Oregon Foundry and Machine Company, 
organized eight years ago. is engaged in the 
manufacture of piano plates and foundry mold- 
ing machines, the latter an invention for facili- 

tating and cheaiiening the molding of castings, 
the work being done by machinery instead of by 
hand. The Company employs from twenty-five 
to thirty men and boys. The officers are F. G. 
Jones, President ; H. E. Wade, Vice-President ; 
E. B. Jones, Secretary and Treasurer ; and M. J. 
Stanton, Superintendent. 

The E. D. Etuyre Sprinkler-Wagon Factory, 
which began in a small way twelve years ago, 
has steadily increased its business and now 
sends its product to all parts of the United 
States, last year's output being 500 sprinklers, 
besides steel tanks for the farm and elsewhere. 
The sprinkler-wagon is giving excellent satis- 
faction wherever used. The plant has been re- 
cently enlarged, consisting of a brick structure 
one-story in height covering an area of between 
12,000 and 13,000 square feet. To the original 
business is being added that of the manufacture 
of automobiles, both the auto-buggy and the 
touring car, the first of each having been com- 
pleted and being already in use. 

The Rock River Broom Company has for some 
years been engaged in the manufacture of the 
ordinary house broom, and has established and 
maintains a good business. L. L. Woodville is 
the proprietor and manager. 

Chester Nash has for many years carried on 
the business of millwork and general jobbing. 

Dedication of the Lincoln Boulder. — An 
event of deep interest in connection with the 
history of Oregon is the dedication of what is 
called the "Lincoln Boulder" on occasion of the 
Twentieth Annual Reunion of the Soldiers and 
Sailors of Northwestern Illinois, held at Oregon 
September 7-8. 1904. and in commemoration of 
an address delivered in that place by Abraham 
Lhicoln in 18.56. The exercises were held on the 
afternoon of September 8th under the auspices 
of the Oregon Woman's Council, the program 
including a parade of Veterans, with Company 
M of the Third Regiment Illinois Volunteer In- 
fantry as escort, Captain Franc Bacon acting as 
Chief Marshal and .Judge J. H. Cartwright de- 
livering the principal address, followed by Hon. 
Frederick Landis, of Indiana, in a glowing trib- 
ute to the mart>-red President. The program 
also included band and vocal music with invoca- 
tion and benedidion. The officers of the reunion 
were : Jlr. T. A. Jewett, President ; Capt. J. M. 
Myers, Vice-President, and George Petrie. Sec- 

The boulder had been i)Iaced, with the con- 



sent of the owners, upon the grounds of Mr. 
and Mrs. Lcager — but now owned by ilr. George 
H. Jones and occupied by himself and famil.v — 
as near the place of the speaking in 1856 as it 
was ijossible to ascertain from a number of per- 
sons w^ho heard the speech. These grounds are 
■on the east side of North Fourth Street. Mrs. 
Rebecca H. Kauffmau, Mi-s. Julia W. Peek and 
Mrs. Lilian Sears were members of Committee 
of the Oregon Woman's Council who had charge 
■of the securing, placing and preparing of the 
boulder, Mrs. Kauffman presiding during the 
dedicatory exercises. After the dedication the 
Woman's Council placed the boulder in charge 
of the Women's Relief Corps of Oregon, to be 
fittingly remembered by them on Decoration 
Day In connection with their other observances 
of that memorial occasion. 

There has been some uncertainty as to the 
actual date of the delivering of Mr. Lincoln's 
speech, intended to be commemorated. At first 
September 9, 1856, was accepted as the date and 
this was placed upon the boulder, but through 
an entry made in the diary of the late Daniel 
G. Shottenkirk, which has been corroborated by 
an item found in the files of the "Chicago Demo- 
crat," the true date of the event is found .to 
have been August 16, 1856, and the Oregon 
Woman's Council contemplate changing the in- 
scription on the boulder in accordance therewith. 

Township Officers. — The following have been 
the Supervisors for Oregon Township since its 
organization : J. B. Chaney, 1850 ; E. F. Dutch- 
er, 1851 ; P. R. Bennett, 1852 ; James V. Gale. 
1853-54; T. H. Potwin, 1855-58; James X. Gale, 
1859-68; George P. Jacobs, 1869; Mortimer W, 
Smith, 1870; George M. Dwight, 1871-74; John 
V. Gale. 1875-84; William J. Jlix, 1885-86; 
Henry C. Peek, 1887-89; George M. Dwight, 
1890-94; Henry C. I'eek, 1895-98; Arthur F. 
Herbert, 1899-1908. 

The other ofilcers for the township for 1908 
are: Town Clerk, O. R. Ely; Assessor, John 
C. Mattison; Tax Collector, Edgar Eychaner: 
Justices of the Peace, E. A. Ray and W. P. 
Fearer; Constables. L. C. Wilson and Daniel 
Stout; Highway Commissioners, William Kessel- 
ring, S. H. Reintz. George W. Fisher; School 
Treasurer, L. V. Rumery. 


For the following comprehensive sketch of the 

early settlement of Pine Creek Township the 

writers of this history are indebted to Mr. Vic- 
tor H. Bovey, whose home is in that region : 

"Larkin Baker, a hunter and trapper on the 
Illinois River, came to Dixon in the spring of 
1833. He then traveled on north on the west 
side of Rock River ; after crossing Pine Creek 
near its mouth he reached high ground in Sec- 
tion 10. Grand Detour Township, where he 
pitched his tent for a short time. From that 
spot, known as Fourth Rock, Mr. Baker dis- 
covered that the river, after making the great 
bend, turned northward. He then traveled up 
Oak Ridge, until he came to the south line of 
Section 13, where the Rock River Valley opened 
before him again on the east, with a fine view 
of the Mount Morris country on the north, and 
nearly the whole of Pine Creek Township on 
the west. He located near what is known as 
the 'John Price Corners,' hard by a beautiful 
spring ; he had timber on i he east, where game 
was abundant, and rolling prairie on the west. 
Here he resided temporarily for one year ; then 
in the spring of 1834 he erected a log house, 
about eighty rods west of where Luther Hanes 
now lives, and commenced tilling the soil. This, 
without doubt, was the first permanent settle- 
ment in Pine Creek Township. Mr. Baker's son 
James afterwards located on the "Hiram Motter 
farm,' now owned by Jerome Burroughs ; and 
another son, John, Baker, located in Section 35. 
Dewitt Warner. Supervisor of Pine Creek Town- 
ship, now owns the farm. 

Later Comers and Events. — "The second per- 
manent shelter was constructed by James Bab- 
bitt, in the spring of 1835, in Section 10, on a 
hill by a beautiful spring, for which the town- 
ship in noted. During the summer of 1835 David 
Demmen built a log cabin near where the Co- 
lumbia School House now stands. The cabin 
is gone, but the place is known yet as the 
'Demmen Spring.' Gottfried Wiesel now owns 
the place. In 1836 Spooner Ruggles built a log 
cabin on Section 35. Mr. Ruggles was very pub- 
lie-spirited and benevolent, and his advice was 
sought by settlers far and wide. In 1844, Mr. 
Ruggles was elected to the Fourteenth General 
Assembly and was afterwards elected Judge of 
the Ogle County Court. Wilbur Brooke now 
owns the Ruggles homestead. Charles Walkup 
is a grandson of this capable pioneer, his mother 
being a daughter of Spooner Ruggles. 

"John Phelps, who was the founder of Oregon, 



Pine Creek in Section 27. It is said he traded 
built a saw-mill operated by water power on 
the Indians flour for helping in its construction. 
At that mill the lumber was sawed for the first 
frame buildings in that part of the county. Vic- 
tor H. Bovey now owns the property. A mile 
up the creek from the saw-mill, Thaddeus and 
Isaac Bordman, in 1841, built a flouring-mill, 
which did au immense business, farmers coming 
from fifty miles distant to have their wheat 
ground into flour. Samuel Funk, brother of 
'Aunt Kitty Rice,' was the first miller. 

"The first death in the township was that of 
John Peirce, who died in 1S3S. All attending 
the funeral came on foot. He was buried near 
the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of 
Section 26, and so far as is known his grave is 
unmarked to this day. Wesley Hampton settled 
on the northeast quarter of Section 12. He 
afterwards sold it to John Tice, Sr., and it is 
now occupied by his son Otho. One of the 
Hampton children died in 1838— the first child's 
death in the township, so far as is known. 

"During the summers of 1837, '38 and '39, 
came the Brooke, Tice, Coddington, Price. Hot- 
ter, Samuel Punk and Abraham Wetmer fami- 
lies seeking homes; and, with some cash, they 
rradily found sellers among the Baker colonists, 
John Baker being the last to sell, they not being 
used to the bleak northwest winds and severities 
of climate. 

"A history of Pine Creek Township would not 
be complete without mention of 'Grandma 
Palmer,' now living at Oak Ridge! She was 
born in the State of Vermont in 1811. Her 
father. Henry Hayden. went to the war of 1812. 
where he was slain, leaving a widow and ten 
children, of which Mrs. Palmer was the young- 
est. Seventy-four years ago she was united in 
marriage with Irvin Palmer, and they came west 
and settled at Oak Ridge, where she has sinee 
resided. Mr. Palmer died about ten years ago. 
They had three sons and a son-in-law who 
fought in the war for the Union. Grandmother 
Palmer relates that she wove cloth in partner- 
ship for John Deere, when Mr. Deere was a 
resident of Grand Detour. She relates many 
anecdotes of the early settlement, how the wild 
deer used to come and feed by their cabin door, 
and says their first team was a yoke of blind 
oxen, which she afterwards fattened for market 
with potatoes. Mr. Palmer's sister, Elmyra 
(Angeline), married Seth Abbott, and their 

daughter was the famous singer, Elmma Abbott. 
They resided at Oak Ridge on the farm now 
owned by James W. Warner. Mr. Abbott was 
considerable of a musician, and on one occasion 
was to supply the music at an entertainment at 
Franklin Grove. One might in those days walk 
from Grand Detour to Franklin Grove, and from 
Franklin Grove to Jefferson Grove, without see- 
ing a fence, or scarcely a dwelling. Mr. Abbott 
started on foot, with his violin for a companion, 
but found on entering a tract of timber that he 
was closely pursued by a w-olf. He sought safety 
in a tree, which his weight bore almost to the 
ground, and in this uncomfortable position 
pla.ved all night on his instrument to keep the 
wolf at bay. At daylight his unwelcome com- 
panion departed. While living at Oak Ridge, 
his daughter Emma, twelve or fourteen years of 
age then, hearing that Clara Louise Kellogg, a 
vocalist of note at that lime, was to sing in 
Chicago, persuaded her father to go with her 
on foot to Chicago to hear her. While on the 
way they gave short concerts in school houses 
to defray their expenses. By the aid of inter- 
ested friends Enmia Abbott ohtained an intro- 
duction to Kellogg; and; by her friendly 
influence, the way was opened for the cultivation 
and development of Miss Abbott's musical gift. 

"In the early 'forties Aunt Kitty Rice came 
from Maryland, with John Bovey and settled 
• on Section 28 with her brother. Samuel Funk, 
where she lived a number of years, 

"Out of the patriotism possessed by Spooner 
Ruggles, Irvin Palmer, Peter Newcomer, Dr. 
John Perriue and others, grew that great loyalty 
which caused twenty-six boys to go from one 
school district In Pine Creek Township to de- 
fend their country, three families furnishing 
ten .soldiers ! 

"In the industrial progress of Pine Creek 
Township it can be said, that the first threshing 
machine to separate the grain from the straw 
was operated by Joseph Glidden, of barb-wire 
fame, in 1S46. The first reaper owned in the 
township was the property of Benjamin Bru- 

Schools and Churches. — "The first school 
was taught in a private house, known as the 
■Hass residence,' where Benjamin Ringer now 
lives. The school was taught by- Alfred Helm, 
brother of the noted physician, Clinton Helm, of 
Rockford. The teacher was afterwards Terri- 



torial Governor of Nevada. The first house 
built entirely for school purposes was constructed 
on Section 35, in 1839, Spoouer Ruggles and his 
sons bearing nearly all the expense of its con- 

"The first house of public worship was biiill 
by the Free-Will Baptists in 1853, Spooner Rug- 
gles and E. T. Gates donating one-half the cost 
of the building. 

"Pennsylvania Corners was so called on ac- 
count of the large number of Pennsylvanians 
who settled near there. Benjamin Cummins was 
perhaps the, coming in 1843. Then came 
Robert Wilson, Lewis Foote, George Yates, Ben- 
jamin Brubaker, John and Samuel Bovey. In 
1851, Samuel Finfrock started a store at the 
Corners and continued in business for many 
years. His successors in the store were Arthur 
Freet, .John Ambrose, A. L. Palmer, Andrew 
Sanberg. and Jacob Kalebaugh, who now owns 
the 'Corners' store. From 1847 to 1850 Benja- 
min Brubaker kept the Government postofiiee 
one mile east of Pennsylvania Corners, at what 
is now known as 'Trump Corners.' The school 
house at Pennsylvania Corners was built in 
18.52, and the church in 1857. This hamlet non- 
consists of the First Christian Church of Pine 
Creek, the dwelling house and store combined, 
a dwelling house owned by S. Beard and occu- 
pied by Thomas Sheean, William M. Clark's farm 
residence, the old school house used by the 
Knights of the Globe of Pine Creek as quarters, 
and a blacksmith shop. 

"Pine Creek Town Hall, used for election and 
kindred township purposes, was built in 1897. 
It is conveniently situated on the road running 
east and west to the south of the well-known 
'White Pine Tree Tract.' Near the Town Hall 
is the Columbia School House, built in 1892, and 
named to commemorate the great event in the 
history of the New World, which that year 
reached its 400th anniversary. This new school 
building took the place of the old brick school 
house that was built in the later 'forties." 

Township Schools. — From Miss Anna B. 
Champion, the present efficient Superintendent 
of Ogle County Schools, has been obtained for 
use in this history some statements in regard to 
the schools of several townships. The follow- 
ing is the statement for Pine Creek Schools for 
the year 1907: 

"There were 380 persons under twenty-one 
years of age, 240 of whom were of school age. 

Of the latter number 187 were enrolled in the 
schools. The township was divided into nine 
school districts, four male and eight female 
teachers being employed, receiving salaries rang- 
ing from $30 to $50 per month. There were nine 
frame school houses valued at $8,890. The 
amount of tax levy for the support of the schools 
was $3,475." 

The following paragraph is taken from the 
sketch of Pine Creek Township in the "History 
of Ogle County" published in 1886: 

"From the report of the County Superintend- 
ent of Public Schools for the year ending June 
30, 1885, the following items are taken: 'There 
were 553 persons under twenty-one, of which 
number 363 were of school ages. The township 
was divided into ten school districts, and en- 
rolled in its schools were 349 pupils. Eight 
male and twelve female teachers were employed 
during the year, receiving as wages from $18 
to .$4(; per month. There was one stone, one 
brick and eight frame school houses, valued at 
$2,530. The tax levy for school purposes was 

Later Churches. — One of the later churches 
in the township is the Mount Zion United 
Brethren church, situated in the eastern part. 
The house of worship is a frame structure, and 
the building, the first erected; It was built in 
the early 'seventies. Near it on the south is the 
parsonage, the entire church property being 
worth at the present time about $2,500. The 
present minister in charge is Rev. E. P. Spur- 
lock, who also looks after the interests of the 
Oak Ridge Church and Providence Chapel in 
Pine Creek Township. The membership of the 
Mount Zion Church numbers about sixty. Thomas 
J. Fearer, who formerly lived near this church, 
was for long a Trustee and prominent and 
active member. The Oak Ridge Church was 
erected in 1853 by the Free-Will Baptists, and 
now used as a Union church, in which the resi- 
dents of that neighborhood attend service. 

A Unique Insurance System. — One of the 
most valuable helps to the farmer, the Pine 
Creek Mutual Fire Insurance Company, has long 
been in existence in this township. David F. 
Miller, who owned considerable land in the 
township, and whose son, George W. Miller, still 
pos-'esses a portion of his father's estate, was for 
many year the Secretary and Treasurer of this 
Company and devoted much of his time to the 



advancements of its interests. Thomas J. Fearer, 
now living at Oregon, in pleasant retirement at 
the age of eighty-five, succeeded Mr. Miller in 
this office and successfully carried on the work 
tor a long time. Victor H. Bovey holds this 
office at the present time. This is a unique 
form of farm insurance : no policies are issued ; 
no premiums are paid ; the book of the Secretary 
and Treasurer contains the only records kept. 
In this book, after visiting the applicant for 
insurance and looking carefully over his prem- 
ises, the Seeretaiy enters the name of the a.^sured 
and amount of protection guaranteed in case of 
loss along with the description of the property, 
this making him a member of the company. In 
case of fire, three adjusters are apixiiuted from 
among the assured to reckon the amount of loss 
and the sum to be assessed pro rata upon the 
members of the company; and, so prompt and 
ready have been the responses to this, that the 
Company has never had any need to enforce the 
payment of its assessments. At the present time 
the company assures against loss by cyclone, 
which at first was not included ; and during its 
earlier term of existence, no one could be insured 
who used a steam engine for threshing, horse- 
power having to be employed for such purposes. 
Usually insurance in a Farmers' TowTiship 
Mutual costs the individual members belonging 
to the company less than a policy taken in one of 
the regularly organized large concerns. 

Under "Mount Morris Township" Mr. Hitt is 
quoted in telling about the early settlement of 
that region, and refers to the tract of land of 
1,000 acres in this township first purchased by 
his father of "a Mr. Painter, and being now the 
Baker place." A large part of this tract was the 
propertj' of .Tames A. Baker, and it is interesting 
to record that three of his sons, Albert M. 
Baker. Edward F. Baker, and Amos N. Baker, 
now own this land and make their homes upon 
it. This is in Section 3, in the vicinity of the 
"White Pine Woods of Ogle County." 

These woods, for which this region is now 
famous, are told about in Chapter I of this his- 
tory. The "White Pine Tree Tract" has a num- 
ber of owners, who six acres and up- 
wards. Among them are David Barnhiver, J. A. 
Powell, .1. H. Davis, A. M. Johnson, Gottfried 
Wiesel, William Hammer, Samuel Hays, Fletcher 
Burke, Samuel Powell. 

Village op Stratford. — Stratford is located a 
little to the west of this evergreen forest region. 

being laid out and platted in 1886 just after the 
completion of the Chicago. Burlington & Northern 
Railroad, which intersects Pine Creek Town- 
ship. Its name was bestowed by a reader of the 
great dramatist, the place of whose birth it sug- 
gests to all lovers of Shakespeare's verse. Near 
this station Messrs. Egner & Ryder, then of 
Mount Morris, built a creamery in 1893, and 
butter was made by them for a while. The plant 
was later purchased by R. O. McCredie, who 
operated it as a milk receiving depot till remov- 
ing it to Mount Morris in connection with his 
business there. The village of Stratford con- 
tains about twenty inhabitants. It includes an 
elevator owned by F. E. Bomberger, a grocery 
store and a postoffice. Fred O'Kaue in the 
station agent. Considerable livestock is shipped 
from this neightwrhood. 

Township Officers. — The first town meeting 
was held in a log school house on Section 29, in 
April, 18.50. The chairman of the meeting was 
John Perrine. The Supervisors have been as 
follows: Spooner Ruggles, 1850-56; H. J. Mot- 
ter, 1857-59 ; Simon Seyster, 1860 ; William Join- 
er, 1861 ; George Yates, 1862-65 ; James A. Baker, 
1866; Elias Malone, 1867-70; Martin Heller, 
1871; Elias Malone, 1872-73; John Perrine, 1874; 
Elias Malone, 1875; George Yates, 1876-77; 
Charles W. Baker, 1878; Lyman C. Wilson, 
1879; Simon Hildebrand, 1880-83; Victor H. 
Bovey, 1884-91; John H. Davis, 1892-95; Henry 
Coffman, 1896-99; John Betebenner, 1900-01; 
Charles Walkup, 1902-07; Dewitt Warner, 1908. 
The other officers for 1908 are: Town Clerk, 
Roy A. Nettz; Assessor, W. B. Dusing; Tax 
Collector, Henry B. Maysilles; Justices of the 
Peace. Jacob Cox, and O. W. Crumbling; Con- 
stable, Daniel Myers; Highway Commissioners, 
Irvin Trump. Henry Seyster, Henry Stabler; 
School Treasurer, J. H. Hoshaw. 

When the 275 militiamen from McLean, Taze- 
well and adjacent counties were placed under 
the command of Major Stillman at Dixon's 
Ferry, in May, 1832, with orders to spy out the 
Indians by proceeding northward along the east 
bank of Rock River, and were surprised and 
routed by Black Hawk and forty of his war- 
riors, at least one of the militiamen was not so 
precipitate in his retreat but that he observed 



and remembered the pleasing appearance of the 
wooded country and the richness of the prairie 
in and about what later came to be known as 
Washington Grove. This soldier was David 
Maxwell of McLean Count.v, who, with his 
brother-in-law, Samuel Aikens, made claim to 
land and settled in Washington Grove three 
years later. The latter was from Franklin 
County, Ohio, whence he removed his family in 
1837. Public opinion connected the names of 
three of Aikens' sons with the Driscolls and 
their crimes, but Aikens himself and the young- 
est son. Samuel, "were respected as good citi- 

A Reminiscence of Bandit Days. — To Wash- 
ington Grove, in 18.35, also came William K. 
Bridges. He was well regarded until his neigh- 
bors were forced to believe him an associate of 
the Driscolls. Upon their trial and summary 
execution. Bridges disappeared. Returning, he 
was later arrested for participation in the Mul- 
ford robbery. Tlie Mulfords, who lived a few 
miles east of Rockford, were visited by armed 
men, who searched the house and obtained $484 
in gold- from a bureau. Bridges was tried, con- 
victed and sentenced to eight years in the peni- 
tentiary. Laud which he owned was sold and 
from the proceeds the Mulfords were paid the 
amount of their loss. 

Settlers in the 'Thirties. — In lS3r>. A.iron 
Paine, who had come with .John Whitaker from 
Putnam County to Marion Township, took up 
land and settled with his family where later 
the location came to be known as Paine's Point. 
Another settler near by was Benjamin Boyce, 
who soon sold his claim to George Taylor of 
New York, who lived there the remainder of his 
life. The farm descended to his son. Mason 
Taylor, and is now owned by Scott Gale, of 
Oregon, who until his removal to Oregon to live, 
occupied it. 

A little south nf where Chana now is. at what 
was given the name of White Oak Grove, Homer 
Morgan took up a claim in 1836. He was from 
Pennsylvania, but had been a Baptist preacher in 
Ohio. A grist mill was built on Kyte Creek, 
near by, by his eldest son. Lyman Morgan, who 
later in Wisconsin, whither he had removed, be- 
came kuowii as the inventor of the Morgan water 
wheel. Names of other pioneers in the settle- 
ment of what ;s i;ow Pine Rock Township, with 
States from which they came, are : Thomas 

Stinson, New Hampshire; Isaac Trask, Massa- 
chusetts; Milton Burright,Milo Haselton, Allen 
Eychaner, Benjamin F. Canfleld, New York ; 
John Roe, Merit Dailey, John L. Grant, Penn- 
sylvania ; David Welty, Christian Eakle. Mary- 
land ; Frank Tilton. Ohio ; Hiram Sanford. 
Vermont ; Augustus Austin, Canada ; Riley 
Paddock, Thomas Paddock, John H. Steph- 
enson. John Briiley, Franklin Andrew, also 
William Rice, New York, 1S3T : John C. 
Ot>er, New Hampshire, 1854 ; John Ray, County 
Derry, Ireland, and Matilda Huttou Ray, settled 
on Section 5, in 1843; H. H. Stinson and J. L. 
Stinson, New Hampshire, 18.54 ; Jonathan Sea- 
worth. Germany, born on Atlantic Ocean, set- 
tled on Section 14, 1843 ; Silas Walls and Fanny 
Pelton Walls. Ohio, 18.54; James Mitchell and 
Nancy Brown Mitchell, Ireland, settled on Sec- 
tion 21, 18.54; William Ray. Ohio, settled on 
Section 5, 1838. 

Religious Organizations. — Methodist classes 
were organized very early by the settlers of 
what are now Pine Rock and Lafayette Town- 
ships. The first was known as the Washington 
Grove and the second as the Lafayette 
Grove Class. Service was held at first near 
Lafa.vette Grove in the school house that was 
soon liurned by incendiaries, supposed to belong 
to the Driscoll banditti ; later, at the "Chapel," 
as it was called, which replaced the burned 
school house and was used for both school and 
religious purposes; then at the Canfleld school 
house, and finally, and now, in Chana, in the 
church building erected there in 1875. Among 
those belonging to these classes in their begin- 
ning were James Clark and Mrs. Clark. Chloe 
J. Benedict. Isaac Rosecranz and Mrs. Rose- 
cranz, Jeptha Noe, Thomas Aikens and Mrs. 
Aikens. Richard Hardesty. Samuel Aikens. Brook- 
ings and Jlrs. Aikens. Orson Rosecranz and Mrs. 
Rosecranz, Rebecca Rosecranz, Martha Aikens 
and Margaret Aikens. Rev. Barton Cartwright 
was one of the early preachers. Later the Can- 
fields were especially active in the church work, 
as they are now. At the present time the same 
minister preaches at both Lighthouse and Chana. 
residing in the parsonage at the former village. 
Rev. Alfred Siniester. 

The Methodist church at Paine's Point was 
built in 1853. The first members were Jonathan 
Bntterfield, Daniel Potter, Erastus Wadsworth, 
.Vugnstus Austin and H. Hayes, and the first 
pastor Rev. Henry Miller. The present minister 



is Rev. George A. Griswold, who resides at Kiugs 
and supplies both churches. The building stands 
on land taken up from the Government by 
.\ugustus Austin, who gave the sites for both 
church and school. The tract of land of which 
it is a part now belongs to Jesse Allen. 

A Lutheran Church was built at Paine's Point 
about 1852. In 1874 the present wooden build- 
ing replaced the earlier one of stone. The con- 
gregation does not maintain a pastor of its own, 
but depends upon the Oregon charge. Across 
the street from the Lutheran Church is the 
Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Church, organ- 
ized in 1891. The name of the first minister 
was Rev. L. Brenner. The present pastor is 
Rev. J. T. Hassfeld, who resides in the par- 
sonage by the church. The congregation is made 
up of the families of German farmers wlio in 
recent years settled in and around Paine's Point. 
It is a flourishing church. The German citizens, 
from being renters, have become the owners of 
many of the farms of the early settlers, espe- 
cially northward from Paine's Point. 

Soon after the building of the Chicago & Iowa 
Railroad, in 1871. Phineas Chaney, of White 
Rock Township, inu'chased the 80 acres forming 
the west half of the southwest quarter of Sec- 
tion 1.5 of Pine Rock Township, through wh'.ch 
the railroad- passed, and laid the land out in 
town lots for a new village. The intention was 
to make the name of the station the same as 
that of the founder, but a mistake was made in 
the plat by writing "Ghana" for "Chaney." 

The first building was a grain warehouse built 
by Phineas Chaney and managed by Benjamin 
Chaney, his son, who was also station agent. 
Later the Andrew Brothers (Frank and David) 
put up the first elevator. They .sold to David 
Wolty and he to James Miller, who leased to 
West and Andrew, with Samuel Mitchell in 
charge, and afterward, in 1884, to George H. 
Sidwell, who enlarged the elevator to its present 
capacity — 100,000 bushels. It is now the prop- 
erty of the Xeola Elevator Company. As a 
grain buying and shipping point. Ghana ranks 
well. Ghana's principal store is owned and con- 
ducted by William Hoopes, who came to Ghana 
from Ashton in 1901, when his first year's sales 
amounted to ?16,000, while this year they will 
total .$40,000. Ghana has had a bank since 
190.5. known as the Southworth Banking Com- 
pany, with Thomas G. Southworth of Rochelle, 
President, and J. W. Hoffman, Cashier. 

Two miles south of Ghana on the Charles 
Bailey farm, iu 1905, upon the belief of George 
E. Canfield of near Ghana, who had made a 
study of the location of petroleum, Ellsworth 
King, Walter King, John Babcock and Fanny 
Snyder King provided an oil-drilling outfit and 
sank a well, drilling to a depth of 1,017 feet, but 
without success. On his own farm Mr. Canfield 
drilled ."lOO feet, but found no oil there. 

In Pine Rock Township is located the boulder 
which marks the siwt where occurred the trial 
and execution of the Driscolls. a tragic event 
which lingers in the memory of the early resi- 
dents of Ogle County, and the account of which 
is yet repeated with awesome feelings by even 
their youngest descendants. The place of this 
occurrence, and where the boulder now stands, 
is just off the highway on the left side, as it 
cuts across the southwest corner of the farm in 
Section 19, of James Cummins, formerly owned 
by his father, William Cummins, the highway 
running from Daysville towards the southeast, 
following the meandering outskirts of the Wash- 
ington and Lafayette Groves, as they formerly 

Some years ago a disastrous wind storm 
swept over the heart of Pine Rock Township, 
coming up from Lee County and proceeding on 
in its course northward into White Rock Town- 
ship. This was the tornado which destroyed 
the school-house, formerly called for the owners 
of the nearby farms, the "Canfield School House." 
but which since its rebuilding has been named 
the "Cyclone School." No lives were lost in this 
cyclone, but some property was injured, includ- 
ing the houses on the farm of John C. Ober. 

Township Officers. — The first election in 
Pine Rock Township was held in April, 1850, at 
which time the usual town ofiieers were elected. 
The Supervisors since that time have been : 
Jeriel Robinson. 1850-52; Thomas Stinson, 185.3- 
.54; Samuel Aikens. 18.55; Mason Taylor. 1856- 
.57 ; Isaac Ti-ask, 1858-59 ; Lorenzo W. Page, 1860- 
<!1 : .John R. Steel, 1862 ; John Acker, 186.3 ; S. J. 
Eshbach, 1864-67; John Slaughter. 1868; W. H. 
Ferg^ison, 1SG9; Thomas Stinson, 1870; John 
Cumniins. 1871 ; Jacob P. Lilly. 1872-7.3 ; Israel 
Trask. 1874-77; Lewis Drummond. 1878-83; 
George E. Canfield. 1884; Dr. .Malcolm C. Roe, 
1.S85-86 ; John B. Bailey, 1887-91 ; Samuel 
.Mitchell, 1892-95; Malcolm C. Roe, 1896-97; 
Samuel Mitchell, 1898-99; Malcolm G. Roe, 1900- 



01 ; George J. Burroughs, 1902-07 ; Henry Lums- 
den, 190S. The other officers for the township 
for the year IOCS are: Town Clerk, E. A. K. 
Sargent: Assessor. Willis S. Grant; Tax Col- 
lector, E. D. Buker ; Justices of the Peace, Jacob 
W. HofCmaster and Samuel W. Wren ; Constable. 
Henry C. Aulls ; Highway Commissioners, Henry 
Rice, John B. Canfield. and J. D. Druniuiond ; 
School Treasurer, Charles E. Cross. 


This township ia rich in picturesque features. 
The "Riviere a la Roche'' — the name which the 
French early gave to the "Sinnissippi" of the 
Indian, and the later Rock River of the Anglo- 
Saxon — flows through the heart of this region 
called Rockvale. In this township lie two fair 
isles — Swan's and Margaret Fuller — and two 
tributary streams — Leaf River and Silver Creek 
— the Upper and Lower Narrows. Inspiration 
Point. Old Baldy, Sinnissippi Heights. Eagle's 
Nest Bluff, Ganymede Spring, Knox Spring, and 
the Old Flood Plain of Mud Creek. Here. too. 
attracted by this charm of landscape, are the 
homes of many of the summer residents, flitting 
back and forth like the birds of migration — 
Beauvoir. Van Inwegen's Hill. The Bungalow 
at Springvale Farm, The Grange. Eagle's Nest 
Carap and Ganymede. It is in this township 
that the Muse of Poetry first spread her wings 
in the Rock River Valley, and bequeathed to its 
denizens the in.spiratlon, "Ganymede to His 
Eagle." and by its edge was the author housed 
near the tall elms by the wa.vside home. In this 
home of the Heushaws the Angel of Death was 
first to lay his touch upon a boy of the then serv!l« 
race. It is in this town.ship, too, that the "Ford 
Cabin" stands on the land once the "claim" of 
Judge (and afterward Governor) Thomas Ford. 
And here was the home of Thomas Medford. 
who helped to guard the great Napoleon on the 
prison Island of St. Helena. Rockvale Town- 
ship will also possess the gift of Ivorado Taft 
to the Rock River Valley — his heroic figure of 
Black Hawk, looking down from Eagle's Nest, 
with resignation and dignity, upon what once 
were the possessions of himself and his people. 

The Ogle County History of 1886 contains the 
following statement regarding Rockvale Town- 
ship: "About two-thirds of the township is 
timber and the remainder a rolling prairie. On 
the west side of the river the soil is good to 

the river bank, but on the east side there is sand 
for nearly a mile back from the bluffs which line 
the river." So much of this timber was of the 
hickory t^iiie that the elevation, running laterally 
through the township, was designated Hickory 
Ridge. Much of this has been either thinned out 
or cleared away. During the winter in which 
this statement «as written, 000 cords of hickory 
wood were cut on Hickory Ridge and near it, 
under the supervision of Major Charles New- 
comer from the land in his charge for W. H. 
Holcomb. and shipped to him for use in his work 
to Portland, Oregon, where Mr. Holcomb was 
then engaged as Suijerintendent of the Oregon 
Short Line and Transportation Company. 

The inclusion of Rock River within the bor- 
ders of the township makes the problem of hard- 
road making a diflicult one. Each side of the 
stream must necessarily have a driveway fol- 
lowing its course, in addition to the customary 
number of the rectangular public roads. 

Early Settlers. — The territory covered by 
Rockvale was one of tho-se first settled. When 
Michael Seyster, Sr., came in 1838, with his 
wife and children, they found, for a short time, 
a hospitable stopping place with a family al- 
ready snugly domiciled on the bottom land a 
little northwest of the mouth of Mud Creek ; 
and here a later comer, though house and all 
other trace of habitation were gone, was sur- 
prised to find asparagus growing, its vigorous 
vitality having survived all other evidence of 
human occupation. Among the early settlers 
were John, George W. and Benjamin F. Phelps 
— three brothers, who came to stay in the spring 
of 18:35. John Phelps is referred to elsewhere in 
this History. The double log cabin built by him 
is still standing. George W. Phelps removed to 
the city of Oregon, where he died some years 
ago. one of the streets in the north end of the 
city lieing named for him, having been platted 
on land at that time owned by him. After a 
few years' .sta.v in Ogle County the other brother 
removed to Missouri. John Wagner and family 
came in 1837, locating on land in Sections 19 
and 30, the farm with the home-site being now 
owned by George W. Carr. Being a part of the 
"Maryland Colony" the Wagner family is re- 
ferred to in connection with Mount Morris 
Township. Seth H. Hills came in 18.35 and 
made a claim on Section 33, which was pur- 
chased from him by Joseph Knox in 18:39. Hiram 
Read settled on Section 10, where he lived until 



■ the end of his life many years ago. William 
Sanderson, a native of Scotland, settled in Rock- 
vale in 1835. John Fridley came with his family 
August 15, 1838, having visited the region dur- 
ing the previous year, and having then bought 
from Judge Ford his claim of 1,000 acres, where 
now the historic cabin stands. John Fridley, Jr., 
was born in this cabin. William Artz came 
from Maryland in 18.39 and located on Sections 
20 and 29, and his sou, F. R. Artz, is said to 
have been the first person born in the township. 
George Griswold, who came from England, was 
•one of the very early .settlers. On his land was 
found an excellent quality of limestone, and for 
many years a lime-kiln was operated upon his 
place. Joseph Knox, for whom Knox Spring 
was named, was the contractor to whom was 
allotted the building of the first county jail at 
■Oregon. After a few years he went to Iowa to 
live and there died. Clark G. Waite located on 
the west side of the river in 1838. afterward 
residing in Oregon. C. S. llarshall was a set- 
tler of 18.38. Benjamin Boyce located on the 
east side of the river. John James, Hiram 
Gitchell, Silas Lyman. Exra Bond, Andrew Hart, 
Linus Morgan, John Farrell, Robert E. Page and 
Thomas Medford, were all early residents. The 
Waite brothers furnished another instance of 
three men of the same family becoming early 
settlers in the township. In addition to the one 
mentioned, there were E. J. Waite, who removed 
to Oregon, where he died several years ago ; 
Mrs. J. A. Barden, referred to under Lynnville 
Township ; Mrs. Josephine Barker, of Roehelle ; 
Merton B. Waite, who is engaged in the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture at Washington, D. C, and 
A. J. Waite. whose son. J. A. AVaitc. still resides 
on the home farm by the river's west side — the 
first house built still remaining as the north end 
of the present dwelling — were all members of 
this pioneer family. Daniel B. Wagner, one of 
the early farmers of Rockvale, came from Wash- 
ington County, Md.. with his parents in 1838. 
His death occurred but recently at the age of 
eighty-five; while two sisters, Mrs. Martha J. 
Knodle and Mrs. Mary E. Swingley, for many 
years of Rockvale Township, survive him. Mar- 
tin Beard, another pioneer, came from the same 
county and State in 1907. 

Among earlier and later residents of Rockvale 
are: Theodore Austin, John Allen, George J. 
Betz (from Wurtemburg, Germany), F. T. 
Hinckley, Thomas E. Coverly (from Canada), 

David Crockett (Scotland), Henry Ehmau, 
L. W. Davis, John C. Folsom (New Hampshire), 
David L. Foote (New York), Mahlon Forrest, 
Arvey Frost (Ohio), Mahlon T. Fuller (born 
in Washington Grove, Ogle County, in 1840), 
Jacob Good (Pennsylvania), Patrick Haney 
(Belfast, Ireland, 18-15), Arthur and Ann Farley 
Holland (Ireland, 1870), Amos C. James (New 
York, 1842), Charles Jones, William Knapply 
(Wimpfen, Germany, 1858), Enoch Eshbaugh 
(Pennsylvania, 1868), Edward and John Call- 
ban, Nelson Johnson, John Kelley ; David, 
Josiah and William H. Knodle; Charles and 
Mary G. Clancy Lewis (New York, 1849), Isaac 
Listeberger (Pennsylvania, 1868), and Catherine 
(Patterson) Listeberger ; Samuel McGuffin (Can- 
ada, 1843), and Frances Griswold McGuffin, 
Samuel Sutton, A. Joesten, Charles Erxleben, 
C. K. Mattison, Henry F. Meyer (Prussia), 
John and Catharine (J'liddour) Newcomer 
(Pennsylvania), Hiram Row, Andrew Schecter 
(Maryland, 1845) ; David, Jacob and William 
A. Steffa ; Joseph Matmiller and family from 
Erie, Pa., via the Lakes on first trip of the ill- 
fated "Lady Elgin," 1853; George W. Swan, 
William Swingley (Maryland, 1845) ; Joshua 
Stoner, William Camling, Henry L. and Joshua 
Thomas, Michael Zeller, John Gallagher, John 
Brooke, Andrew Sverkersson, John Timmer- 
man (Oldenburg, Germany, 1853), Edward O. 
Trask, Henry Thompson (Canada), Emanuel 
G. and Elizabeth Fridley Wagner, David Wertz 
(Pennsylvania, 1850), who, with his brother 
Lewis, built the first flouring-mill in the town- 
ship, in 1850, and ran it in connection with a 
saw-mill built by Lewis Wertz some time before 
1842. David Wertz and wife died some years 
ago in Nebraska, where they and their family 
had become pioneers again. Thomas and Mar- 
garet Lynch (Countj' Kerry, Ireland), were for 
m.iny years residents on the east side of the 
river in Rockvale, Mrs. Lynch dying about the 
end of the year 1908. 

Churches. — Rev. Alexander Irvine came in 
18.36, and was the first minister to locate in the 
township. He died in 1840 and his "Last Will 
and Testament" was the first one probated in 
the county. The marriage of a daughter, Marg- 
ery Irvine, and Miner M. York, in 1837, is said 
to have been the first of a long line of nuptial 
knots tied in the township. An earlier history 
says that, at the time of its writing, there were 
no church buildings in the township. At that 



time, however, there was a German Reformed 
church, which still stands ou the Rockvale side 
of the east Hue between Rockvale and Marion 
townships. It is known as the "Ebenezer 
Kirche" and was built in 1875, the first pastor 
being Rev. Jlr. Watermiller. Rev. William 
Diekhoff is the present pastor. The services are 
conducted in German, but the minister is Amer- 
ican-born and educated. The congregation con- 
sists mainly of German settlers living in the 
townships of Rockvale and Marion, and num- 
bers between four and five hundred, there being 
eighty communicants, and about one hundred ten 
families who are attendants. Sabbath School 
and divine services are held each Sunday morn- 
ing, and catechetical lessons every Tuesday. This 
is the white frame church, with the spire seeu 
so conspicuously many miles off through the 
trees and across the river from the highway near 
the "half-way house" on the "old State Road" 
between Mount Morris and the county-seat, and 
it is the bell from this church-tower that is 
heard ringing sometimes down the valley. The 
bell cost $1,800. and the church has a pipe organ 
which cost about $1,000. Abraham S. Shelley, 
of Rockvale. is organist, and the present church 
officers are : Peter Hayeuga, Poppe Maas and 
Behrend Behrends, elders ; and Frank Reeverts, 
,Iohn Ulferts and John A. Roos, deacons. There 
is a frame parsonage near the church, and a 
cemetery is located in the neighborhood. 

Schools. — Benjamin Boyce located on the 
east side of the river, taught the first term of 
school in 1841, in a log school-house near his 
residence. The second school house was built 
some time later in the Phelps neighborhood, and 
was known as the "Phelps School." This stood 
in the timber west of the cross-road running on 
the east side of the John Phelps farm. It was 
a log house consisting of one large room, heated 
by a wood stove and furnished with benches. 
This was superseded by a later structure which 
stood in the hollow at the north end of the same 
cross-roads until a few years ago, when the 
present school building, known as "Rockvale 
Heights," was erected. 

From the office of the Superintendent of Ogle 
Countj' Schools has been obtained the following 
statistics: "Rockvale, 1907. There were 318 
persons under 21 years of age, 216 of whom 
were of school age, of this latter number 177 
being enrolled in the schools. The township was 

divided into eight school districts. One male and 
seven females were employed as teachers, re- 
ceiving salaries ranging from $.30 to $-15 per 
month. There were eight frame school houses 
valued at $4,500. The amount of tax levy 

The following is quoted from the Ogle County 
History of ISSC for the purpose of comparison : 
"For the year ending June 30, 1885, in the town- 
ship there were 410 persons under twenty-one 
years of age, of whom 294 were of school age. 
Of that number 241 were enrolled in the public 
seliools. The township was divided into eight 
school districts, each of which had school reg- 
ularly during the year. All the schools were un- 
graded. There were four males anad eleven 
female teachers employed, receiving salaries 
ranging from $25 to $45 per month. There were 
two stone and six frame school houses, valued at 
.$4,900. The amount of tax levy was $2,250." 

Some years ago a creamery conducted by Otto 
Timmernian did a flourishing business on Silver 
Creek, but like many establishments of its kind, 
in more recent years its business has proved 
unsuccessful. As early as 1843, one of the many 
saw-mills of the county was established and 
operated by Benjamin Boyce, while Hiram Read 
kept a small grocery store on the east side of 
the river, both near the Brooklyn School. 

Township Officers. — The following have been 
Supervi.sors of Rockvale Township since 18.50: 
X. W. Wadsworth, 18.50-51 ; William Artz, 1852 ; 
James W. Johnston, 1853 : A. C. Richardson, 
18.54-55 : Benjamin Boyce. 1856-57 : William Artz 
1858-61; Hiram Read, 1862; William Artz, 1863 
Adoniram J. Waite, 1864-65; Henry Thompson 
1866; William Artz, 1867-68: Jacob Good, 1869 
71 ; Andrew Schecter, 1872-73 ; James C. T. 
Phelps, 1874; Jacob Good. 1875-79; E. A. Irvine, 
1880-82; George Petrie, 1883-85; Otto Timmer- 
nian, 1886-91; Judson A. Waite, 1892-1908. 

The officers for 1908, in addition to Super 
visors, are: Town Clerk, William H. Smith 
Assessor. Henry F. Tice; Tax Collector. Arend 
DeVries : Justice of the Peace, Albert C. Wilde : 
Highway Commissioners, William M. Camling 
A. W. Blanchard. Sc-ott Wlssinger ; School Treas- 
urer, A. S. Shelley. 


In 1838, Thomas O. Youngs, of New Jersey 
lid Canada, who for nineteen years had lived 



near Cleveland, Ohio, decided to make a home 
in the "Far West," and taking six horses, two 
wagons and a carriage, started for Illinois. 
Other Ohio people, acquaintances of his. had set- 
tled in Ogle County, and thither he journeyed, 
via Chicago, then a town of 3.000 population. 
After fourteen days, he arrived with his family 
and possessions at White Rock Grove, and there 
purchased of Henry James, a Kentuckian, a 
claim of several hundred acres. The land lay 
partly in what is now White Rock and partly 
in Scott Township. There was a log cabin on 
the portion in the latter township, now Section 
31, with twelve acres broken. This became the 
home of Mr. Youngs and was the first settlement 
in Scott Township. For some time Mr. Youngs 
went to Beloit, thirty-five miles distant, for 
milling purposes, and to Chicago for general 
marketing, while among his experiences were 
carrying a revolver in his belt as he plowed his 
fields and while sleeping In his barn to protect 
his stock at night. 

Some Pioneer Experiences. — In ISoO. Albert 
Wilbur, of New York, who had gone to Joliet 
in 18.35, removed to Ogle County and settled on 
Section 19 in Scott Township. His travel was 
by canal to Buffalo (from Oneida County), to 
Detroit by Lake steamer, and thence to Chicago 
by stage, the journey occupying eleven days. The 
hotel in which he stopped in Chicago was a two- 
story log house, which stood where afterwards 
the well-known Tremont House accommodated 
the public for many years, and where now the 
Northwestern Law School is located. The mud 
on Randolph Street was so deep that planks had 
to be laid from the stage for the passengers to 
walk on to the hotel door. 

Roster of Early Settlers. — Other early set- 
tlers of the tovs'n.''hip, with the States from which 
they came and the sections upon which they 
located, are as follows : Benoni L. Beach, New 
York, l&i2, Section 29 ; F. H. Baker, New York, 

1849, Section 21 ; Richard McDonnough, Ireland, 

1850, Section 3; Simon Sheaff, New York, 1851, 
Section 31 — fed the first stock raised for market 
in the township ; William W. Wade, Massachu- 
setts, 1854, Section 28; Elijah R. Morse, Ver- 
mont. 18.54. Section 10; A. A. Walker, Illinois, 

1855, Section 24; Lemuel Colwell, Maryland, 

1856, Section 1 ; O. W. Norton, New York, 1855, 
Section 19 — found but five houses in the town- 
ship ; Joseph Sheaff. Ohio, 1855, Section 34 — 

was the first settler in that immediate region, 
the nearest house being one and one-half miles 
away, and is a surviving resident of the town- 
ship to-day. with his home in Holcomb ; Peter 
Sheaff, New York, Sections 31 and 32— came to 
Ogle County in 1852, but lived for six or seven 
years in Rockvale and Oregon Townships ; Pat- 
rick Carmichael, Ireland, 1859, Section 7; John 
Corcoran, Ireland, about ISGO, Section 2; John 
R. Rice, New York, 1860, Section 15; L. -W. 
Blackman, New York, 1861, Section 13; Michael 
Monahan. Ireland, 1861, Section 13; Alfred 
Nash, New York, 1862, Section 25 ; John Murray, 
Scotland, 1863 ; Marcus Wortman, Pennsylvania, 
1868, Section 11; Robert Richardson, England, 
1871, Section 14; R. H. Wood worth. New York, 
1872; John J. Na.shold, New York, 1874, Sec- 
tion 12 ; John Wilson, Canada, 1875, Davis Junc- 
tion ; Emery J. Burdick, New York, 1875, Davis 
Junction ; P. Brace, New York, 1S75. Davis Junc- 

In 1877. Israel Boies, who in 1876 built the 
first creamery in the county at Byron, settled on 
Section 23, and became a director of the Rock 
River Butter Factory at Davis Junction, which 
from August 1 to February 1, 1878, made and 
shipped 20,000 pounds of butter. 

When Jeremiah Davis, in 1858, purchased 320 
acres of the laud in this township on Section ' 
23, and moved ihere with his family from Milton, 
Wis., "there was not a house to be seen from any 
portion of his land." Later Mr. Davis added 
880 acres to his original purchase. The writer 
drove across that portion of Scott Township in 
1878 and remembers the long distances between 
neighbors at that time, as well as the noticeable 
contrast between that part of the county and 
those portions around Oregon and Mount Morris, of the absence of timber and the level 
land around Davis Junction. In 1855 this 
prairie, which the settlers left to the last to be 
converted into farms, sold at $2.50 ijer acre, while 
in 1878 Mr. Davis's farm of 1.100 acres, which 
he was then handling, was valued at $67,000, 
showing the rapid increase in value when once 
the occupation of the land for farming puriMses 

Village of Davis Junction. — In 1875, Jere- 
miah Davis platted the village of Davis Junc- 
tion. The first dwelling was erected by Robert 
H. Woodworth and the first store by John K. 
Dentler, whose son, O. S. Dentler, occupied the 
new building with a stock of general merchan- 



dise. Elleuwood and Serauton provided a build- 
ing for Mr. Bruce'.s stocli of hardware, and there 
were two other stores conducted by Joseph Ken- 
dall and Mr. Scale. At the present time there 
are four stores in Davis Junction — two general 
stores and two hardware stores. One of the 
former is owned and managed by Frank Dent- 
ler, grandson of the early settler, J. K. Dentler. 
The lumber business was begun during the first 
year by Moody and Freeman, blacksmithing by 
R. H. Woodworth and wagon-making by Bur- 
dick and Wilson, while Peter Tiltou built and 
conducted the first hotel. In 1877, the first vil- 
lage school house was built, a two-story, two- 
room frame building, which still meets the edu- 
cational needs. A two years' high school course 
is maintained, from which the pupils pass to the 
third year of the course in the Rockford High 
School. Walter Richardson is Principal. 

lu 1883, a Methodist Episcopal chui'ch was 
built and dedicated the following year, this being 
the only church edifice now in Davis Junction. 
The present pastor is the Rev. Collins, who re- 
sides at New Milford and has both charges under 
his care. The membership numbers fifty. 

The two railway companies (the Burlington 
& Milwaukee) whose lines inter.sect at the south 
side of the village, have built there a joint sta- 
tion at a cost of $9,000. It is a timber and 
cement building, with waiting rooms, smoking 
room and lunch room, well constructed, pleasing 
in appearance, commodious and comfortable. 
The lunch room in its appointments and supplies 
is the equal of places of many times the size. 
The grounds surrounding the station have been 
artistically laid out, set in grass and planted 
with shrubber.v. The walks are of vitrified 
brick, long and wide, following the tracks for 
some distance where the passengers take and 
leave the trains. 

Village of Holcomb. — In 187(1, Joseph Sheaff. 
at the southern edge of the township, on Sec- 
tion 34, the place of his farm residence, laid 
out a new village and named it Holcomb in 
honor of W. H. Holcomb, then and for some time 
a citizen of the county, residing at Rochelle ; 
first an employe and afterwards an officer of the 
Chicago & Iowa Railroad Company, later con- 
nected with the Oregon Short Line and Trans- 
portation Company of the Pacific Coast, and in 
ISa"? Superintendent of transportation at the 
Columbian Exposition at Chicago. Mr. Holcomb 
died in March, 1008, at Hinsdale, 111. The first 

house was a dwelling occupied by T. P. Frantz, 
a mason by trade. This was followed by an 
elevator built and operated by Joseph Sheaff, 
who in a short time rented and later sold out to 
West & Andrews, who in turn rented and then 
sold to George Stanbui-y, whose son, Edgar Stan- 
bury, is now the owner and operator. This 
elevator did all the grain business until 1886. 
when the Great Western Railway being com- 
pleted through Holcomb, Armour & Company 
established an elevator on that line. The second 
dwelling was erected by Dr. John Murray, who 
was an early settler of the region, and who con- 
tinued in the successful practice of the homeo- 
pathic school of medicine at Holcomb during all 
the years up almost to the present time. In 
December, IOCS, Dr. Murray and his wife re- 
moved to Southern Illinois. A store building 
was built by David Sheaff about the same time 
as the first dwelling and was occupied by Peter 
K. Hastings, with a stock of general merchandise. 
This was sold in 1879 to R. F. Oakes, and is 
now owned and conducted by Phillips & Sheaff. 
A second general store was started in 1878 by 
O. S. Dentler, son of John K. Dentler, who pro- 
vided the building. There is now but one gen- 
eral store, the other being a hardware store. 

In 1879, a church was built at a cost of $2,800, 
by the German citizens residing in and around 
Holcomb, chief among whom were the Knotts. 
a numerous family active in the religious life 
of the community. At the present time the con- 
.gregation is small. 

In 1892, a bank was established by David 
Sheaff, Joseph Sheaff, W. D. Oakes. Walter 
Sheadle, and Charles Eyster, all of whom, ex- 
cepting Walter Sheadle, who soon sold his in- 
terest, are its owners now. Charles Eyster is 

TowxsHip Officek.s. — Since the urbanization 
of the township of Scott in ^fC,i\. the following 
have been the Su]iri\ is<ii> : (Jeorge Youngs, 
18.50-51; Gould G. Nurton. ls."2-G3; Jeremiah 
Davis, 1864-G7; Orlo II. Norton. 18tJ8 ; Jeremiah 
Davis, 1869-70 ; George S. Youngs, 1871-72 ; Jere- 
miah Davis, 1873-74; James D. White, 1875-79; 
E. E. Moore, 1880-81 ; Charles H. Wilbur, 1882- 
83; Joseph G. Woodman, 1884; T. H. Baker, 
188.>86; Sidney S. File, 1887-88; O. W. Norton, 
1889; D. C. Pepper. 1890-93; D. A. Hatch, 1894- 
95; Isaac N. Harden. 1896-99; H. L. Barber. 
1900-03; Charles E. Davis, 1904-08. 




The other officers of the township for the 
'year 1908 are: Town Clerk, Charles J. Rich- 
f dson ; Assessor, S. K. Jackson ; Tax Collector, 
Ernest Kreitsburg ; Justices of the Peace, Jlenzo 
Xashold, D. H. Lamont ; Constables, S. B. Camp- 
bell, John McCormick ; Highway Commissioners, 
F. A. Knott, G. C. Zimmerman, Fred Ward; 
School Treasurer, Charles Eyster. 

Taylor is a border township, touching Rock 
River ou its west side and Lee County on the 
south. It is not the size of the usual township, 
being the north part of what was surveyed as 
Township 22 North, Ranges and 10 East of 
the Fourth Principal Meridian "in Ogle County 
and east of the middle of Rock River." The 
northwestern section of Taylor Township was 
originally quite well timbered, and the land- 
scape partakes of the attractiveness and beauty 
which characterize the region of its neighbor 
"across the water," Grand Detour Township. 
Clear Creek flows in a northwesterly direction, 
nearly crossing the township, and empties into 
the river. 

Settlement History. — Among the early set- 
tlers in this locality were Elisha Arnold (1S44). 

bert Bissell, who now resides in retirement 
in the city of Oregon; Joseph Earl (1848), who 
made the trip to California in '49 with the 
Gold-Seekers; John Slaekay, L. L. Scott. Row- 
land Thomas, Ellas and Manley Teall, John 
Worthiugton, Joseph Cunningham, Isaac Bly, 
Oliver Edwards ; B. F. March, whose son, P. W. 
March, resides in Oregon, and is an active tem- 
perance worker in the county ; Jacob Hange